A detached retina does not typically cause pain, but flashes of light, sightings of small flecks or threads, and darkening of side vision may occur, according to WebMD. A shadow over a portion of the vision field may also develop if the detachment progresses, explains Mayo Clinic.
When the retina detaches or separates from the tissue around it, a person can permanently lose vision if it is not repaired quickly, explains WebMD. The serious eye condition typically begins with retinal tears, and a detachment of the retina can occur without warning. People who have a family history of retinal detachment and those who are severely nearsighted are more at risk for the eye condition. Individuals who have had cataract surgery or an eye injury are also at risk for retinal detachment.
Surgery is usually necessary to repair a retinal detachment, tear or hole, according to Mayo Clinic. Surgery may involve injecting gas or air into the eye to seal the tear, indenting the surface of the eye to relieve the force of tugging on the retina, or draining and replacing fluid in the eye to remove tissues causing damage to the retina. A consultation with an ophthalmologist can help patients determine the best treatment strategy.