Retinal Detachment | Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Welcome! I’m Randall Wong, M.D., a retina specialist in Fairfax, Virginia in the United States.

Thank you for watching this video where I discuss retinal detachments. While there are two types of retinal detachments; traction retinal detachment and rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, I am only talking about the more common, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment – those caused by a retinal hole retinal tear.

A retinal detachment is a potentially blinding condition and occurs when fluid gets underneath the retina through a retinal tear. Just as though you were to peel the wall paper off your walls, a retinal detachment can separate from the inner wall of your eye.

Symptoms of retinal detachment include loss of peripheral vision (early) and may involve your central vision, new flashes and new floaters.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should alert your eye doctor immediately and follow his/her instructions. Suspected retinal detachments should be handled as an emergency.

Your eye doctor should dilate your pupils and examine you for a retinal detachment, retinal hole and/or retinal tear. The best way to rule out a retinal detachment is by dilating your pupils and directly inspecting your retina.

There are 3 ways to fix a retinal detachment: pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle and vitrectomy. Your eye doctor will have his or her own reasons for using a particular approach or technique.

There is no substitute for surgery to repair a retinal detachment.

Timing of surgery for repair of a retinal detachment should be based upon the integrity of your central vision. If the macula is NOT detached, your central vision should be unaffected. Every attempt should be made to fix a retinal detachment before the central vision is affected.

If your central vision is already affected by the retinal detachment, then, in my opinion, the timing is slightly less crucial.

Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoy.

Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions, here or on


Randall Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist

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