The Retina is a thin film of nerve tissue that fans out from the optic nerve and lines the back of the eye. There are a number of retinal conditions that can lead to visual loss.

The following symptoms require immediate attention:

  • Floaters – sudden onset
  • Flashing lights
  • Loss of vision (like a curtain closing)
  • Straight lines look twisted
  • Patches of loss of vision
Man and women reading on grass

Retinal Detachment

Is a serious condition where the retina comes off the back of the eye. This can occur when the vitreous gel in the back of the eye naturally degenerates and collapses. Areas of the vitreous attached to the retina pull on the retina and sometimes tear a hole. Fluid can enter underneath the retina causing a detachment. Sudden onset of floaters, flashing lights and /or loss of peripheral vision like a curtain coming down could mean the retina is detached. If you have these symptoms, you must be seen URGENTLY at your nearest eye casualty or by your eye surgeon.

Author Information

Authored by Sheraz Daya MD FACP FACS FRCS(Ed) FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon & Medical Director, June 2019.

Next review due June 2024.