What is a Retinal Detachment?

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of nerve tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. A retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the rest of the layers of the eye. This usually occurs after you develop a tear in the retina. The extent of permanent damage depends on how much of the retina becomes detached and whether or not the center of the retina (the macula) becomes detached. The macula is made up of special nerve cells that provide the sharp central vision needed for seeing fine detail (reading and driving etc.). If your macula has become detached, you have a poorer visual prognosis and you may not regain good enough vision to read or drive with that eye even after successful surgery.