Causes of retinal detachment

The most common cause of retinal detachment is tinybreaks developing inside the retina.

Thebreaks allow the fluid found between the retina and the lens of the eye to leak underneath the retina.

A build-up offluidcan cause the retina to pull away from the blood vessels that supply it with blood.Without a constant blood supply, the nerve cells inside the retina will die.

Thesebreaks are thought to develop due to:

  • a posterior viteous detachment (PVD) which is a normal ageing phenomenon when the gel of the eye pulls off from the retina
  • thinning of the retina

Very Short-sightedness people have the greatest risk of developing age-related retinal detachment (though the risk is still very small) because they are often born with a thinner than normalretina in the first place.

Previous eye surgery, such as cataract removal , may also make the retina more vulnerable to damage.

Insome cases, a tear can develop if the eye is suddenly injured, such as bya punch to the face.

Less common causes

Less common causes of retinal detachment include:

  • Damage to the blood vessels in your eye causes scar tissue toform, whichcan pullthe retina out of position. This is usually the result ofa complication of diabetes , called diabetic retinopathy .
  • The retina remains unbroken, but fluid from otherareas gathers behind it. This sometimes happens in conditions that cause inflammation and swelling inside the eye, such as uveitis and some rare types of eye cancer.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 29 Nov 2016