Vision SOS: Recognizing the Red Flags of Retinal Detachment

retinal detachment

Have you ever experienced sudden flashes of light or noticed a shadow creeping across your field of vision? 

These unsettling symptoms could be warning signs of a potentially serious eye condition called retinal detachment. If left untreated, this eye condition can lead to permanent vision loss. 

 In this blog, we’ll dive into the red flags of retinal detachment, guiding you through the symptoms and actions to take in case of a vision emergency. 

Retina Detachment: An Overview

Retinal detachment occurs when a tear develops in the retina (i.e., the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye), results in excess fluid behind the retina.  

 Your retina senses light and sends signals to your brain so you can see. When your retina pulls away from the tissues that support it, it loses its blood supply. This can cause vision loss if not promptly treated.  

Risk Factors of Retinal Detachment

While anyone can experience a retinal detachment, some people are at a higher risk, including those who: 

  • Are over the age of 50 
  • Have nearsightedness 
  • Recently had eye surgery 
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment 
  • Experienced an eye injury 
  • Have diabetes 

Warning Signs: Retinal Detachment Symptoms

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition requiring prompt medical attention. Some common retinal detachment symptoms include: 

Numerous New Floaters 

Floaters are like tiny specks or strands that float around in your vision. They can look like dark spots, spider webs, or even bugs drifting across your eyes. Sometimes, they might seem like dark swirls. 

Eye floaters are often more apparent in bright light, especially when viewing a white background. 

retinal detachment symptoms

Usually, floaters are harmless and common. But if you suddenly see more of them, it’s a good idea to see an eye specialist immediately.  

Flashes of Light 

If you see sudden flashes of light, like lightning streaks in your vision, the retina could be tearing away from the back of your eye.  

 This can also happen as part of normal aging, but either way, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by an eye doctor. 

Dark Shadow or Curtain Over Vision 

A definitive symptom of retinal detachment is the presence of a dark shadow or curtain-like appearance in the middle or sides of your field of vision. 

Unlike flashes of light, this shadow doesn’t come and go. Once it appears, it stays and might even get bigger over time.  

It’s essential to see an eye specialist immediately if you experience this symptom. 

Sudden Decrease in Vision 

As the retina detaches from its normal position, your vision might suddenly get blurry or weird in one eye. Things might look blurry or distorted, making it difficult to see things clearly. 

This sudden change in vision should not be ignored and requires immediate medical attention by an eye specialist to prevent further damage to the retina. 

Seek Emergency Treatment 

If you observe any signs of retinal detachment, like sudden flashes, floaters, a dark shadow or a sudden decrease in your vision, it’s essential to act fast.  

Go to the emergency room or see your eye specialist as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of noticing the symptoms.  

Quick treatment can help prevent permanent vision loss.

Diagnosis of Retinal Detachment

Dr Madhava Rao, a leading eye specialist in Abu Dhabi, will perform the following tests to diagnose retinal detachment: 

  • Retinal examination: Dr. Madhava looks at the back of your eye, including the retina, using a bright light and special lenses. It gives a detailed view of your eye, allowing him to see if there are any holes, tears, or detachments in the retina.  
  • Ultrasound imaging: If there’s bleeding in your eye that makes it hard to see the retina, he might use ultrasound.  

Treatment of Retinal Detachment in Abu Dhabi

If your retina has detached, surgery is required to repair it. The type of surgery required will depend on various factors, including how severe the detachment is. 

Scleral Buckle Surgery 

Scleral buckle surgery involves placing a silicone band around the white of your eye. This pushes it toward the detachment until it heals.  

 Additional treatments, such as lasers or cryo freezing, may be performed to ensure the retina stays in place.  

scleral buckle surgery


During a vitrectomy, Dr. Madhava removes the vitreous gel from the center of the eye.  

 He uses special instruments to repair the detached retina and remove any scar tissue pulling on it. A gas bubble or silicone oil is injected into the eye to help keep the retina in place while it heals. 

Contact Dr. Madhava Rao for Retinal Detachment Treatment in Abu Dhabi

Recognizing the signs of retinal detachment is crucial for preserving your vision. If you notice any red flags like light flashes or dark shadows in your vision, don’t hesitate to seek help. 

Dr. Madhava Rao is a leading eye specialist in Abu Dhabi, with over 20 years of experience and more than 14,000 successful surgeries, he is a trusted expert in the field of retinal detachment treatment in Abu Dhabi. 

Schedule your appointment today. 

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