Patient Comments: Retinal Detachment - Experience


Please describe your experience with retinal detachment. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Michelle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I felt off balance with retinal detachment. I could see a bubble floating in my eye. It caused mental anguish to me. I lost my job my car and I felt like I couldn't do anything right. I was always squinting and my left eye was closed and right one was open. I feel like it affected my right eye also. It’s awful. Still don't know about vision.

Comment from: Run5000_Cg15, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 17

I received retinal detachment surgery in my right eye, when I was 23, with buckle, air bubble procedure. Fifteen years later I still cannot see out of my right eye. Additionally, my eye where the surgery was performed isn't straight and I cannot see out of it at all. Looking for answers, there must be something else that can be done.

Comment from: Adrian, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 05

I had a retinal detachment in December 2020 (62 years, very myopic) along with a longstanding macular hole. I had a PPV (pars plana vitrectomy) on 12th March. The first attempt with the detachment was successful (given odds of 65 percent success), the macular hole closure was not (given 50 percent success). The operation was under local anesthesia. Surprisingly, the anesthetic in the eye, and the operation itself was painless. Gas took 67 days to go. Result, sight saved but close vision poor, and peripheral vision ok. One can still do daily life with one good eye.

Comment from: Gene, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 05

I am an 81 year old male. I was told that if I do not have the operation for retinal detachment I might lose sight in my right eye. I have a touch of glaucoma also. Ever since the operation, my sight is blurred. I am a veteran. The Veterans Affairs (VA) gave me glasses but they were no good. I went to Eyeworks and they said the prescription in the glasses was way off. They ground them down to see if they could make them better for me. They are still not good. Wonder if the dizziness is because of the operation.

Comment from: VR, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I had emergency retinal detachment surgery 6 months ago. The surgeon told me I would need to have my eye removed if they didn't do it immediately. I had buckling, gas bubble, suturing, and laser in a one hour and 45 minutes surgery. I have extreme vertigo (fall a lot, no control), migraines and double vision. I am unable to focus, my eye rotates, kind of like a compass, causing distorted vision. I had a 2nd surgery to put in new lenses in. I still have all of the problems. The only good thing is I can kind of see where I'm falling. Doctors think I'm nuts, but this is my life now.

Comment from: Mimi, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 04

My son has thinning retina, he had gone to the optometrist who discovered that. He has diabetes and has myopia, his eyesight has gone to -3.

Comment from: Yourshopgirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

At age 25 I got a detached retina in my left eye, half a shadow. I did 'twilight' surgery instead of general anesthesia (my choice). I got a buckle. It did not fully take. I ended up having an air bubble put in, hung upside down for about an hour, and it worked. Twenty-three days later, I had a bad cataract, and had surgery, again awake but drugged. It went well (put a corrective lens in).

Comment from: dave, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 25

I had a gas bubble put in after my retinal detachment, in February of 2019. Six weeks later the bubble had dissipated and the retina had detached again, and I had an oil bubble put in the next day (April 10th). The old bubble was removed 6 days ago, and the doctor said everything looked fine. The surgery took a little longer because he had to fix a wrinkle in the retina. Anyway, it is 6 days later and I still have almost zero vision in that eye. I can see a little light and if I wave my hand in front of it, I can see a shadow moving.

Comment from: mrshyde, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I had surgery for retinal detachment a month ago. My eyeball and socket hurt terribly. When I wake up I can’t move my eye at all until I soak with drops. They keep telling me everything is healing fine but I am in constant pain.

Comment from: Ender, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I had a retinal detachment 10 months ago. I had two surgeries and silicone bubble. Retinal tissue is attached to the tissue below but I can only see 10 percent. I wonder if there is a way to improve my vision.


The colored part of the eye that helps regulate the amount of light that enters is called the: See Answer
Comment from: macc, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 26

It started in June 2015, I have had seven surgeries in my right eye, lost vision, and retina is still detached. It started with vitrectomy, then oil, then gas, and so on. After all this time, three years, my eye still waters, aches and burns every day. One of the last surgeries was entropion, enough is enough!

Comment from: Claire, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 26

I have had 3 vitrectomies for retinal detachment in my right eye, since July. I have had the oil in since September and will be having it removed in December. I obviously have blurry vision, still quite sore but due to return to work in November. I wonder if this is wise. I know that this is dependent on how I feel and to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel. I wonder if people have returned to work with the oil in.

Comment from: Elle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I have had 3 surgeries for retinal detachment with no improvement. The first two surgeries I was told didn't work because of scar tissue. The surgeries were gas insertion. The third surgery was done with oil. The doctor told me he doesn't know why the detachment happened. Now I have another appointment in one week and have no idea what will happen next.

Comment from: NAVNEET, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

In July 2017 after many years of wondering if I was having panic attacks and could never get up my stamina even though I walked, jogged, ran, did toning exercises, and Tae Kwon Do martial arts for at least 10 1/2 hours a week. I could never hold out well in sparring matches though. I would get dizzy, and short of breath. I complained to the nurse practitioner for a while about chronic fatigue or something was going on after being pregnant. I was finally referred to cardiology, premature ventricular contractions were diagnosed, but it got worse, and I had more symptoms.

Comment from: Retina detachment , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: July 24

At the age of 20 I was hit by a cricket ball. I didn't know my eye will turn blind after three months. I noticed that my vision was lost in my left eye and I went to the doctor. He said he found there was a retinal tear and will have to fix it with silicone oil. First two times I had got operated with silicone oil and the next time I had gas bubble inserted. Everything was ok, but after 1 month the doctor said my retina again got detached after the gas dissipated, and 1week ago again I got operated with silicone oil. I am hoping this time it will be good, operated 5 times!

Comment from: Shane , 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I had the gas bubble treatment for a detached retina in my right eye 5 months ago. My vision is ok but massive floaters and a fast moving fluid like movement is always present in the bottom right corner. I always think I see someone or a bug scurrying about in my peripheral vision. I guess this is the best my eye is going to be.

Comment from: Deborah, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

In November 2015, I woke to a horrible feeling in my left eye. I thought I had possibly scratched my eye, but after putting eye drops in, nothing helped so I went to the emergency room. They did an ultra sound and said I had a detached retina and referred me to an eye doctor. He dilated my left eye to confirm it and referred me to retinal consultants for surgery as soon as possible. The doctors then put a gas bubble in my eye along with a medical ID bracelet and said the gas would last about 30 days. After the gas dissipated, my vision improved and I was seeing fairly well. But only 33 days later, I began having light flashes and went back to the retinal consultants and it was confirmed I had another detachment. Again, back into surgery only this time the doctor put a scleral buckle to push my retina back, and again, another gas bubble that lasted 60 days. My thoughts are I should have had the buckle put in the first surgery, especially due to my age. It has been 2 years since the two detachments and I no longer drive (could not see well enough for the DMV eye test and glasses didn't help improve my vision) and the feeling in my left eye is horrible, with a feeling that my eye ball is being squeezed, with blurry vision. The constant extreme dryness is annoying too, with my applying moisture drops every hour or so. Not fun at all.

Comment from: Andy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

I experienced a left eye retinal detachment on January 18 while getting into my car from work. There was a curtain of black webs that would not clear. After checking on WebMD, I was fortunate to see an ophthalmologist the next morning. The doctor attempted to corral the tear using laser. I think there was too much blood for the ablations to be effective. The following week, January 25, I had surgery to repair the tear. It is now 2 months since the surgery. The C3H8 gas is down to about 10 percent. My vision is still blurry, though much improved. The retina is healthy according to the doctor. I am concerned that I am developing a cataract.


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Comment from: Beldar, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 22

I had a detached retina January 2015, I got the gas bubbles procedure in the doctor's office and healed fine. Two weeks ago I had another detachment, same eye. This time the detachment was on the bottom of the eye, requiring a full operation procedure. It's healing fine so far. My concern is if this will be happening every few years to my left eye. I am also wondering what effect(s) this could have at high altitudes as I am going mountain trekking this July to 18,000 feet.

Comment from: sleepyinseattle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 27

I had a detached retina in the beginning of January. I had a gas bubble and buckle. It is almost 6 weeks post operation, and I have blurry vision at best with double vision and it feels as though I am constantly cross eyed. There is a fold on my retina and am told to give it time. Ok, I don't have a choice. My doctor is good, so I am grateful for that.

Comment from: bemch36, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

I went in to a specialist for a detached retina after losing half my vision in my left eye. The doctor looked at it and suggested I have emergency surgery as soon as possible. He said nurses would call with appointment. After 2 weeks I called them and said I hadn't heard from any one yet, and the doctor called and said he would get me in right away. I had a gas bubble and then an oil bubble, nothing worked; I wonder if they waited too long. It was pretty much detached all the way by then. I have no vision in the eye now.

Comment from: Darryl, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 07

I had the gas bubble procedure for a detached retina. My doctor was very clear in saying that successful healing now depended on me. He explained where the gas bubble should be positioned. My daughter is an occupational therapist (OT) and her advice was very helpful. I have a pillow nest where I spend much of the day and all night supported in the correct position. I strongly urge you to ask for an at home OT visit to help you set up an environment that will help you heal well!

Comment from: Alan DJ, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 17

I had cataract surgery in October and November. In January I had detached retina. I had vitrectomy and am doing fine. In October (one year since cataract) I had the other eye retina detach. At one month doctor said laser did not take and had to do another surgery. I do not really understand laser did not take. I have had 5 eye surgeries in one year; I will not go through another one.

Comment from: Beetle, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 08

My right retina detached on the way to work. When I got to my desk I commented to my co-worker that something was wrong with my eye and she recommended that I call my eye doctor which I did. After examination, I was transferred to the hospital where I was further examined and given surgery. I had the vitrectomy, laser and the fluoropropane (long lasting) gas bubble. The tear/detachment was at the top of my eye, so my head position was head up. It is now 4 weeks post-surgery and there is probably 30 percent of the bubble left. I have had problems with eye pressure and the doctor is aggressively treating it with two glaucoma drops and a steroid (not prednisolone). In my vision field not covered by the bubble, I can see my hand in good detail. Distance vision is blurry and slightly faded like looking through lightly frosted glass. I checked my drops and found they all can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light which I have also had. The doctor thinks my eye is healing perfectly, so given the side-effects of the drops and gas bubble, I'm optimistic for my recovery. I seem to have lost a little peripheral vision at the very bottom of my vision field, but that is not a problem so far.

Comment from: Greatcgrandma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

I had retina surgery 3 days ago, my right eye retina was completely detached. It had been for at least 2 months before surgery and my doctor suspects it had been progressing for months before. My surgery was done with a nerve block, I was wide awake during the almost 3 hour surgery. I got the oil but no buckle. The next day on my post operation visit, when the bandage was removed my eye wasn't red and I had very little puffiness. I had better vision than before the surgery! I was given antibiotic eye drops and used OTC Tylenol for pain. Day 3 brought redness and swelling but no pain. My doctor has asked me to come back in 3 weeks and will remove the oil in 6 months. It was much easier than I expected. I think I will recover my vision completely.

Comment from: andy2is, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

I had first a torn retina which was fixed then it detached due to scar tissue growing under the retina. I had a buckle placed with a 2 week gas bubble. After one week the bubble was dissolving and my retina re-detached but only in one place. A 6 week gas bubble and laser work were done and after 2 weeks again, it re-detached. I'm now going to have the silicon/oil and more laser this week. This is my 3rd surgery; it is getting frustrating big time. Hopefully this procedure finally fixes my retina. I am worried about my vision from so much surgery and afterwards from new silicon/oil.


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Comment from: Prix xx, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 06

I saw a dark curtain in my side vision on February 17. On February 20 I went to the doctor and was told retina was detaching. They did surgery the same day with buckle and oil. I am on my 3rd week checkup. The doctor said retina had re-detached so I had surgery next day, and this time he had peel scar tissue. Shaved a little of the retina to keep it flat, and used oil. Three weeks later I feel ok but eyes are still swollen and red. Plus once light hits my eye it leaves a glare that makes it tough to see through. I guess that's due to the oil, which will stay in for 9 more weeks or so.

Comment from: gxceb0t, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 16

I had a large floater appear suddenly in my eye in October 2016. I didn't do anything about it, then in early November I started seeing black in my peripheral vision. I went to a retina specialist and had surgery that same day. I had a giant retinal tear. I had gas bubble which lasted 3 full months. By the time it went away a cataract was well formed and my vision was bad. I had a Symfony IOL (intraocular lens) implanted yesterday, mid-March 2017. I think I will have to have it touched up with Lasik but it already is a big improvement; and the vivid colors, wow! One bad thing is that so far there is a jagged 'smile' through my vision of black dots, not floaters, and I feel this may be the area of the tear I am seeing. I'm doubtful that it will ever go away, but we will see. All in all I am lucky to be seeing as well as I already am.

Comment from: CJQueso, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

I have sickle cell and when I was in 10th grade, 15 years old, I noticed floaters in my right eye and told my mom right away. We went to an optometrist and was diagnosed with retinal detachment and over a course of many laser eye surgeries, we finally decided for a retinal reattachment. First few weeks after the surgery were pretty brutal. I went to school with an eye patch on, and I was in the midst of trying to start driving (that obviously got held off). My vision to this day has not improved greatly. With my right eye, I can see shape and color, but I cannot distinguish anything. If you were to hold up some fingers in front of my face 70 percent of the time I will say the correct number, but sometimes a person's fingers might be in an area that I'm unable to see (small curtain near my nose). I'm living life now like a normal person, not many people know about some struggles I face, but it does prove a problem sometimes.

Comment from: Mohamed, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 06

My left retina detached subsequent to a brutal frontal blunt assault two months earlier. A high density gas was used to reattach the torn retina. The gas bubble contracted over a 5 week period. It is 4 months since my operation and my vision is still very poor and distorted with kinks and reduced image size. Due to the assault and initial surgery to augment the eye socket I have double vision. I have been advised that it takes up to a year for the retina to heal and stabilize and when it does and the vision is not restored it has very little chance of recovering. An orthoptist has to be consulted to assist in resolving the double vision. Retinal surgery is not to be taken lightly as it can recur, or as in my case it has rendered me incapable of going back to work. It negatively impacts on the quality of your life like walking outdoors requires a walking stick or being legally unfit to drive a vehicle.

Comment from: Gina, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I had Lasik surgery in October 1999 and suffered a detached retina in the weaker eye in November 2000. I had very slow recovery. I had to keep my head down for 10 days. Six weeks post operation I felt no better. Gas bubble in my eye showed no signs of going away. I finally showed some improvement in late December. My eye has scars, and vision has greatly deteriorated since then. The other eye is fine.

Comment from: GF, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 29

I'm 35 and initially had PVD (peripheral vascular disease). I was seeing a lot of eye floaters and light flashes. I went to the doctor's office and he did a retinal laser to prevent the retina from tearing. Then after about a week, a large moon shape shadow appeared in the bottom of my viewing area. At first I thought it just could be a sight effect of the laser. Luckily I went to see the doctor and was told that I had a tear and detached retina. He scheduled for a surgery for me on the next day. Since I had cataract, the cataract surgery was done together with a vitrectomy, laser and he put a gas bubble. It has been 2 days since the surgery and my vision is very blurred because of the bubble. I was told to sleep in a sitting position to keep the bubble at the top. So far the dark shadow is gone but seeing that a lot of people have repeated detachment, I'm really concerned. I hope it'll be okay.

Comment from: Helen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I first noticed something was wrong after a flight. With all the lights off, I saw a dim light from the corner of my eye. Later on, I noticed a flash when I would go from outdoors to indoors. That's when I went to an ophthalmologist. He said I needed laser surgery right away for a retinal tear. He put in a gas bubble and did laser surgery 3 times in one week. I had to lie on my left side for one week. My vision is now 20/20 with my glasses on after one week! I still have that annoying gas bubble, but he says it will go away. Don't delay going to the doctor. He will save your sight.

Comment from: Keith, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I am a 41 year old male and the not so lucky one. I have had 6 retinal detachments during the past 7 months. My lens was flushed out on number 5. I also had a retinal hole laser surgery in my other eye. I had PPV (pars plana vitrectomy), gas and emotional stress. I hope this one lasts.

Comment from: 4timesuccess, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I have had three detached retinas and this will be my fourth next Monday. I have to say that I have had the best doctor. All of my detached surgeries have been very successful. I am one of the lucky ones I am told, but I believe it is important to have the right doctor for this kind of surgery. I have had the buckle on the first and the gas on the last two. I will be having the gas on this one that I am facing. Again to all of you who are facing this, just know that if treated with the right procedure it will all be ok. It is very important to do as your doctor says after surgery. Lie the way he wants you to for as long as he wants you to do so. I lay on my face for the last one for several days and all turned out well. I am told that this time I will be lying on my back with head elevated for this next one. Again I cannot express enough how important it is to have an excellent qualified doctor and most import to do as he says.

Comment from: Pattyj, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

At age 30, I had a severe trauma to my left eye and my retina could not be reattached. I had surgery but was told that I would never be able to see out of that eye again. I think they put oil in my eye to keep it from collapsing. That was 13 years ago, now I'm noticing that eye is moving on its own, so I will be making an eye appointment as soon as possible.

Comment from: Iylia, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I am suffering with retinal detachment at the age of 23, and I have undergone the surgery. But I've been suffering some mild pain in the eye and it gets tired easily and also sometimes I tend to get headache because of the eye pain that I am suffering.

Comment from: memmons9, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 16

I noticed my retinal detachment while watching TV, when I covered my other eye and saw a small black bubble near my nose next to my right eye. Prior to this, I had been noticing what I will describe as a car headlight driving by. It was not like lightning flashes. I had cataract surgery years ago with the intraocular lenses. I had surgery scleral buckle and vitrectomy. I had to sleep on my left side and then on either side or face down but never on my back. After one month I still could not see any evidence of the gas bubble dissipating. After two months the gas/gel line was right in my line of sight. After three months I still have a small bubble that is very distracting when looking down. The bubble acts like a magnifying glass in my line of sight. I have the cloudy membrane behind my lens and am scheduled for a YAG capsulotomy next week. It has been 3.5 months. I can feel the pressure of the band placed on my eye during surgery and I have double vision whenever I open my eyes wide. I don't know if these symptoms will go away with time or not.

Comment from: Jerseygirl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

At 38 I had 3 retinal detachments. I have had the buckle and 3 gas bubbles. My doctor removed my lens and capsule. The vision in my left eye is very blurry. I go tomorrow for a contact lens. If my eye does not tolerate the contact lens I will have to get a permanent lens implant sewn into my eye.

Comment from: Jeff, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I had surgery for retinal detachment on November 22. I had silicon oil used. After 6 weeks I still see black on the top of the eye I don’t know why.

Comment from: Linda , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I am seeing dark shadow after my operation for retinal detachment a week ago.

Comment from: mahesika, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

I had retinal surgery with gas bubble 5 years ago for retinal detachment. Ever since I have had dizziness. Now I am 62 year old female. My life has never been the same again, I am reluctant to go out.

Comment from: indian, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: September 14

I had surgery 4 years back for retinal detachment due to not seeing geometrical shapes in their actual shapes; e.g., straight lines looked curvy. After surgery also I haven’t experienced much recovery in seeing geometrical shapes.

Comment from: Jenny, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 28

I had my retinal detachment operation on my left eye 30 years ago, it was fine and I recovered well. However, recently, I found that my left eye cannot focus well and slides to the side when I look straight. I went to see an eye doctor and he said that my fourth nerve system on my right eye is weakening and I should have an operation on my right eye to correct my left eye's problem. I am not sure if I should take a second advice or just take the operation.

Comment from: caretaker101, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 15

My grandmother had cataract surgery some 1 and a half months back and many problems developed. But just 3 days back did we get to know that retinal detachment was one of them! Vision loss had been there for this whole time, but everyone here in my family was inclined to treatment and cure of the other problems that had developed! Even the doctor that my grandmother had been visiting didn't tell us about the problem of retinal detachment and nobody had an idea that it was the result of the vision loss! My concern is that the new doctor we visited 3 days ago said that treatment would not result in restoration of vision because the detachment had been left untreated for a long time (a month or so). I know that vision restoration may take few months, but we're inclined for the treatment, only if there's some good chance, because it is not possible to risk some other problem occurring due to this surgery, already the problems are not few! We are from an average middle level family! Money is a factor of consideration, but we are trying our best!

Comment from: waynerp, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I was recently hit directly in the eye with a small ball that my 2 year old son threw at me from 2 feet away. About 2 weeks later I started to develop half circles on each side of my eye as I looked or turned right or left. Not that it bothered my vision but I was worried something was wrong so I went for an eye exam and after 2 hours of an excruciating eye exam the optometrist told me my eyes were perfect and no retina damage at all. Two days later, I was getting flashes in my eye and floaters in my vision, I wonder if I have a torn retina but how after an extensive exam it can be missed.

Comment from: Jamila, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I had retinal detachment. After first operation, I was able to see well, put liquid not gas and laser. Then after a month, it detached again, severe tear and the second operation did not help. Severe cataract developed and a third operation was done.

Comment from: pattyfran, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I had retinal reattachment surgery on Tuesday. I had the buckle and gas bubble treatment. I can barely crack it open to put drops in.

Comment from: Shadow, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

I had retinal surgery for detachment on January 14. At that time a gas bubble was put in during surgery, I was told that sleeping on my right side was vital. I did so for two weeks. After the next checkup I was told to switch to sleeping on my stomach. It is now about forty two days since surgery and the bubble has started to move down from the top of the eye leaving me with clear vision and no floaters. I was told by the surgeon that average healing time will be two months.

Comment from: Alison, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 06

I just had the surgery to remove the oil from my 3rd retinal detachment. I now have this issue that I have bright lights in the field of vision in both eyes preventing me from being able to read the eye chart effectively.

Comment from: EKG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I have been fairly near-sighted since childhood. I got a floater a couple of months ago, which I ignored because I've had many. I also then got a flashing in my right eye. I was due into the eye doctor and was going to mention this, having no idea this was an important sign of a possible tear. More education would be really great, and I plan to mention this to everyone I know. About three weeks ago, I started seeing a half moon at the lower part of the eye, and within about three to four days, my vision was half blocked by this moon. So I went to the ER, and then a retinal specialist, followed by surgery the next day for what the specialist called a "complicated" retinal detachment. I had everything done: fluid removed, gas bubble and the band. I've been feeling terrible that I didn't catch this when it was likely just a tear. It is healing well, and we are ahead of schedule. My vision is pretty off right now and the lid is still a little droopy, but each week it improves. I was praised for following the head positioning instructions, and even though it is a hassle, I strongly urge everyone with the bubble to follow these instructions most religiously. I even found a way to sleep with my head down. I also just rested a lot, no reading and all physical movements slow and careful. I think my behavior during the first week was critical in the fact that things (for the moment anyway) are healing fairly well. Don't try to be a hero ... this is your vision. I also think going directly to a retinal specialist is well worth the money.

Comment from: MT, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

On a Sunday, I began to notice an area near the nose-side of my left eye. The area was gray, but I could see through it. By Monday, the area had grown to cover the center of my eye. On Monday, I saw my optometrist who referred me to a retinal specialist. The next day, I visited the specialist who immediately diagnosed me with a retinal tear and performed a procedure involving freezing and the use of a gas bubble to put pressure on the repair. This was done in the doctor's office. There was some pain and pressure, but it was not unbearable. I saw the doctor for two follow-ups within the first week. My eye patch was removed on the first visit, and I could see that the "curtain" area was now OK, but my overall vision was poor. After a month, I am much improved, but I do have some problem with floaters. I also have noticed a curvature when looking at straight objects that causes some problems with reading; the doctor described this as a retinal pucker. I return to the specialist's office in about 11 weeks to see what further action might be appropriate.

Comment from: Sightless, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

Over Easter, while driving to my dad's, I noticed that I could only see out of part of my right eye. I let my eye go for one week until I went to the ER on a Friday night. On Saturday morning, I was scheduled for surgery. The specialist put in a gas bubble (nightmare!). The gas bubble did not work, and I still had fluid behind my eye. Two months later, I had the buckle surgery. It has now been six months after that surgery, and I still cannot see out of my eye. I have floaters and can only make out some shapes. I go back in December to my doctor to schedule another surgery. He also told me that my left eye will need surgery to prevent retinal detachment. My advice is to get two to three specialists' opinions, and don't wait!

Comment from: Susi, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I have severe myopia and worn eyeglasses since age 8. My optometrist noted lattice degeneration in both eyes about 10 years ago. About seven weeks ago, I noticed flashing lights in my peripheral vision while driving at night. I mistakenly thought it was a vehicle moving into my lane! Later that evening what appeared to be wisps of dark smoke or cobwebs began floating across my right eye. I went to the ophthalmologist the next morning and was diagnosed with seven retinal tears and two detached areas in my right eye. They immediately referred me to a "retinal specialist" who said these were spontaneous tears and detachments. He performed laser therapy to "tac weld" the damaged areas in the right eye. One week later, he used a laser on my left eye as a preventive measure. My vision remains a bit blurry, but I'm hopeful it will continue to improve.

Comment from: dmd65, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

One week after running into a glass window, thinking it was an open sliding door, I noticed a small, dark spot in the inside corner of my right eye. The spot grew to the point that it covered my pupil. I had retinal surgery the fourth week after the trauma. Unfortunately, my doctor said it was a floater ... I went to another doctor, and he said it was a detached retina. By the fourth week, the retina was 40% detached. Had I gone sooner for surgery, the detachment would have been less. The recovery period is critical to a successful surgery. Keep your head down, with the use of a massage chair, so that the gas bubble can put pressure on the retina. Looking back on my experience, I would have gone to the doctor that first week that the dark spot was noticeable.

Comment from: ballantray, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 17

I am 58-year-old male in good health who has worn prescription lens for nearsightedness since I was about 12. I suffered a retinal tear about six months ago. I was treated on an out-patient basis with laser surgery. The retinal specialist who performed the laser repair was vague as to whether I had actually suffered a retinal detachment or merely a tear. In follow-up visits, I complained of discomfort to the eye, cloudiness, a slight droop in my eyelid and a slight loss of peripheral vision. At first he maintained these symptoms could not be caused by the laser or the tear. He finally admitted after six months that I "might be experiencing the symptoms" I described. Now he says the only remedy is actual surgery, which he does not recommend. He says that I am virtually certain to develop a cataract down the road that will require further surgery and contacts, which I did not tolerate well 20 years ago when I last tried them. Further, he thinks it likely I will develop other retinal tears, stating that nearsightedness is a strong risk factor for retinal tears and detachments. I felt like he did not even believe me at first and then was too narrowly focused on the retina and not on my eye's overall health or function. I don't know whether I should now seek out an ophthalmologist for my general eye care and questions about its overall condition and continue to see him on a follow-up basis or whether an optician will do, as before. All he would say was that I was probably entitled to a new pair of glasses under my insurance since the affected eye had definitely lost some acuity.

Comment from: Ed, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 22

I have been near-sighted since adolescence and am now 54. My retinal detachment was apparently caused by my recently rubbing my left eye too hard after removing my contact lens. I soon noticed about eight floaters and a dark gray curtain which blocked my vision on the lower third of my left eye. After a checkup at the hospital ER I was sent to an ophthalmologist. Cryo-surgery was performed in his office and a bubble inserted into my eye. My vision was restored to normal except for the bubble. My ophthalmologist told me to hold my head at an angle with my chin to my right. I tried to remember to do this when watching TV. I was told I could continue to wear contact lenses and returned to work in 3 days. My detachment reoccurred 2 weeks later.

Comment from: MamaGigi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 03

My surgery for retinal detachment simply did not work.

Comment from: Donna r , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 18

I had detached retina surgery 15 days ago. Three days ago I started experiencing dizziness. I am not sure this is normal.

Comment from: kated, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

No one talks about the needles or pain during surgery for retinal detachment. I'm scared to death of the needles and being awake. I'm scheduled for a pneumatic retinopexy and vitrectomy on one eye, and cryopexy on the other eye (not the same day, of course).

Comment from: TJB, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

It is now eight months after detached retina surgery. My vision out of the affected eye is about 20/90 and about 40 to 50 percent smaller than what the other eye sees, thus very blurry.

Comment from: bhpa, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I am 5 weeks out from my scleral buckle surgery for retinal detachment and I still have severe limited vision. I have been told that existing cataracts could be the problem with recovery of vision along with a change in the physical shape of my eye due to the buckle.

Comment from: lostsite, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 18

Retinal detachment recovery is a nightmare, period! Be prepared to stop driving to work, and make sure you have a supplemental disability insurance policy, because you will not be able to work for months as a result of vision loss during the period of recovery 6-16 months.

Comment from: steward, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

I’ve had two retinal tears and one detachment this year. The first tear was preceded by flashing crescents in my peripheral vision. When it finally tore, a cloud swirled through my vision and I was in the ophthalmologist's chair within hours having the tear stitched with a laser. Six months later, I noticed a small blind spot creeping into my vision and headed to the ophthalmologist who diagnosed retinal detachment. The next day, as I headed to vitrectomy surgery, the blind spot covered half my vision. It’s now 10 days after surgery and I still have a small gas bubble, but I'm seeing another shadow growing into my vision. I'm getting it checked tomorrow and dreading the diagnosis.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

Prompt treatment is important in the successful treatment of detachments. I diagnosed my own 21 years ago, but the doctor ignored me. He would have seen it had he dilated my eyes. Nine months later, I had a horseshoe tear repaired. I had excellent doctors, so my prognosis was good. However, I did lose vision. I had another horseshoe tear treated promptly 10 years ago. The vision in that eye is good. If your doctor is not helping you, find a specialist.

Comment from: Trish, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I will be having retina reattachment in two days. My doctor will be putting a gas bubble in my eye, and I will have to remain face down for a week then face up for a week. I have a massage therapy table with a donut in the end that I can use, but that table will be getting hard fast! I have no clue how I will sleep.

Comment from: blindspot, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

I am 37-years-old and noticed a dark spot on my right eye. I went to the Ophthalmologist the very next day and was immediately sent to surgery to repair the retinal detachment. My first surgery was in September and I have had two additional surgeries since then because my retina keeps re-detaching. I have had the buckle placed on, two gas bubbles and now an oil bubble. This last surgery they removed my lense and the cataract. I will have an additional surgery to remove the oil bubble and be given a replacement lense. I have spent the last two months trying to recover and I hope to have no further problems. My advice to anyone is to seek treatment the minute you see flashing lights or slow moving lights that float across your eye. I waited too long and should have been treated sooner.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 28

I am 55 years old. I discovered I had a detached retina when I failed my driver test and was referred to an eye doctor. I was originally diagnosed as having a "lazy eye" in the army. I don't know how it happened except that a grenade went off, and I went into the outpatient clinic where they noticed I had a macular hole in my right eye. I have been fighting with the VA for thirty years over this being “service connected” because it was less than a month after discharge from the army that this detached retina was discovered. The operation was successful in repairing the detached retina, and now I just had a cataract removed and a lens implant this October, which so far has been successful.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I suffered a retinal detachment two years ago. I had a band, as well as gas bubble. Vision in the eye is not great, but adequate . Since I have a good eye, I do not wear glasses most of the time. Eye droops, but then again people tell me that I look like Peter Falk. Unfortunately, my other eye is now experiencing PVD. Hoping to catch it before a detachment.

Comment from: K-pri, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am 28 years old. I found out I had retinal detachment when I was 6 years old. It wasn’t operated on until I was 9. I had it in my left eye, but it affected my right eye. After operating on both eyes, I thought everything would be alright, but my doctor said he had to operate on my left eye again. This surgery changed my life because my left eye became smaller than my right eye, and that made my childhood life unbearable as I was often teased by my peers and even adults. When I was 15, I had to do another surgery because a part of the band that was placed inside was showing and it was visible to everyone. It was very embarrassing. Now I have tested glasses, but I hardly wear them because my right eye has 20/20 vision. My left eye has very little sight, but I am grateful that I'm not blind. I just have to live the rest of my life with my left eye smaller. I still give thanks; I could have been worse.

Comment from: Mish, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am a 48-year-old female. I was involved in a car accident where I was stationery in my vehicle and hit behind by a car doing 60 kms and not even breaking. I was thrown forward and the seat belt pulled me back. After the accident, I was seeing black spots. Thinking this was to do with blood pressure, I was not concerned. Two weeks later, I noticed a shadow over my left eye. I went to the optometrist to have my eyes checked. After a thorough examination, I was told I had retinal detachment. I went straight to Sydney Eye Hospital and had surgery and a gas bubble inserted. I have had no pain before or after the surgery. It has now been 10 days since the surgery, and the retina at the moment is flat, but they cannot give me any guarantees, as it was a large tear. The hardest part was lying on my stomach with my head down to keep the gas bubble in position.

Comment from: bobby d , 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 25

In dark conditions, I see flashes of light in the outer corner of my left eye. They don’t occur in daylight conditions. They are momentary. I may experience them from zero to a dozen times an evening. I first noted them several weeks ago. The experience is random and I don’t see a progression in number of times or severity or visibility of the flashes. The first few times they occurred while I was driving. I thought I was seeing a vehicles tail lights off to my left. However, they also appeared in my bedroom and where there was no light source available.

Comment from: Kenneth, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 12

After the first operation for detached retinas, I was informed it was not successful, so a second one was performed. I cannot read or see the figures on TV, but I can make out objects and identify most of them. I have difficulty reading with my "good eye" and have been told glasses will not improve the eye. The retina can be attached but be prepared to lose your sight in the eye. The eye is blurred and painful at times. I advise one to seek three opinions before an operation.

Published: July 15

I had retina detachment about 30 years back when I was a kid. It was a case of detachment by injury. (A cricket ball hit me straight in my eye!) I was operated on and had to stay in the hospital for two weeks. Although my vision is perfect now, I tend to see floaters in the eye.

Published: June 11

Just last week, I noticed a small bubble filled with water in my left eye. This is how I described it to my ophthalmologist who did cataract surgery just four months ago on the same eye. It was like looking thru a tear in your eye. The "bubble" would go away during the day to be replaced with a grey, brown, or black shadow later on during the day. It progressed very fast over four days and was three times the size. I was immediately referred to a retinal specialist and had surgery within eight hours.

Published: June 09

The first symptom was that I thought my glasses were dirty because I sensed a 'haze' in my vision. Then I noticed an increase in floaters and black specks in the peripheral area, especially on the right side. I noted whether the symptoms seemed to change over the following few days. I also saw flashes of light when in a dark room, especially when I blinked or turned my eyes. Once I realized it was my right eye only, I knew it was serious. The symptoms were entirely new to anything I had experienced before and developed in only a few days.

Comment from: coinlady, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I had LASIK in October. One year later, I had a retinal detachment in the weaker eye. I had the scleral buckle and had to keep my head positioned for 10 days. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. In mid December I was not getting better, I could not even get up and go to the bathroom by myself. I finally did get better around mid January. My eye had some kind of reaction to the buckle and I have marks in my eye to this day. I firmly believe the LASIK had a lot to do with it.

Published: July 28

My retinal detachment occurred as a result of myopia and the tension that my elongated eye put on the retina. The detachment began with discrete flashes of light over several days followed by the apparent rupture of a blood vessel sending a "puff" of blood into the vitreous. The bleeding appeared as a veil floating in front of my eye. The subsequent dispersion of the blood cells in the vitreous looked like a window screen was placed in front of my eye. After several surgeries my retina is attached, though it is not in its original position, causing double vision and the vision field has been reduced. But, it is still vision and you realize how special even a little is.