Retinal separation, or detachment, occurs when part of the interior lining at the back of the eye, known as the retina, breaks away from the underlying tissue, Medical News Today states. Depending on the type of detachment, fluid from the vitreous layer of the eye may collect behind the retina.
Retinal detachment is typically painless, but many people develop floaters, or tiny spots of debris that appear to float in the eye and obstruct vision, Mayo Clinic explains. The condition also causes the eye to perceive flashes of light or an abnormal shadow over areas of an individual’s field of vision. Doctors recommend immediate medical attention to prevent permanent vision damage, and people who develop retinal tears often require surgery.