What is retinal detachment?
Under certain conditions, especially with advancing age, the clear gel-like fluid which fills the eye can begin to break down and separate from the retina. As it does, it sometimes pulls the retina along with it, tearing holes in the fragile membrane.
Left untreated, fluid seeps through these holes causing the layers of the retina to separate and detach. Depending on the degree of detachment, partial or total blindness may be the result.
Among those most at risk for retinal detachment are older adults and people with severe nearsightedness or a family history of the condition. A severe blow to the eye, tumours or complications from diabetes can also cause the retina to detach.