Patient Comments: Retinal Detachment - Symptoms


What symptoms did you experience with your retinal detachment? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Andy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 10

Getting into the car after work I suddenly saw black cobwebs in my left eye. I knew almost immediately I had a retinal detachment. There was a definite sense of 'wrongness'. I verified it immediately when I got home. Over the next few hours my vision progressively blurred as well. I was fortunate that I was able to see an ophthalmologist the next day. He attempted to surround the tear using laser ablation. But tear broke out, so I had surgery a few days later. It is almost 10 weeks later. The gas bubble is nearly gone. The vision is rapidly improving, but I am developing a bit of a cataract.

Comment from: Azdesertfoxx, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 29

I woke up one morning and saw black dots floating in my vision. I went to the eye doctor who said retina looked fine. One week later I woke up with more dots. Again the eye doctor said retina looked fine. She showed me how it looked like the vitreous was pulling on it. Two weeks later a moon shaped floater appeared. I waited 5 days before going to the eye doctor and she said I had a horseshoe tear. I had an emergency surgery 2 days later. I had to get the oil due to living in higher altitude. Oil removal was 6 weeks later. There is still a little oil bubble but doctor said it should burp out when I get the ultimate cataract surgery. Let's hope so. I get new glasses in a week where I hope vision is much clearer. I have not driven since before Christmas. Other eye had detached retina in high school. The current one is due to old age (sticky vitreous).

Comment from: MD, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 22

I noticed a transparent floater for a few weeks in my right eye so I went to see an optometrist who agreed it was just a floater. I wasn't happy with his diagnosis so I went to see a retinal surgeon and had a gas vitrectomy to repair the retinal detachment, the next day. The surgeon told me nothing about the recovery process nor the risks involved except to guarantee a cataract in 2 years. Most of my eyesight has been saved but I have lost 20 percent of my peripheral vision due to the surgery. Apparently in some people the gas dehydrates the retina. I'm -8.5 and still getting worse!

Comment from: JanSooCan, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

The only symptom I had before discovering my retinal detachment was seeing floaters. I saw what looked like fruit flies. There was no pain at all.

Comment from: dj, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 02

I am having my 5th retinal detachment surgery tomorrow. I have the buckle in since November 2016 and keep getting fluid buildup which can cause other detachments. I have had 3 different surgeons, all in the same practice, but have not had success. I have faith in my surgeons, but no one can explain to me why the fluid builds up. The last surgery I had was last week, and the follow up visit the next day did not reveal any issues. It was the 3rd day after surgery that I noticed the fluid in my eye.

Comment from: Clara, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I had a second detached retina due to scar tissue from previous surgery for detached retina 2 weeks earlier. I'm looking at reasons why some people develop scar tissue.

Comment from: Williams, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I've had four ear infections over 2 years, only in my right ear. I fractured my right jaw in 1998. I have numbness on the right side of my face, eye sensitivity, headaches every day. I wonder if the fracture to the right side of my face could cause all these infections, only to the right ear.

Comment from: Reuben, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I am able to recover close to full vision after repair of retinal detachment.

Comment from: Zanele, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

My chest was tight and I had shortness of breath. My son called 911, then my doctor sent me to a specialist, and then they told me that there was a clot in my lungs. I stayed in the hospital for 17 days to treat the pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I am going on my 3rd retinal detachment surgery on the same eye in 3 months. First was gas bubble in December, scarring caused retina to detach 1 month later! I had laser to remove scar, repair the hole, buckle, and silicon oil. My eye felt like an ice pick was jabbed in my eye! Three weeks later it detached again! The doctor wanted to wait for the scar to form better to remove! He will remove oil and scar, fix tear, possibly remove cataract and put oil back! I am in the 10 percent to have the scar removed in the retina! I just hope I can see in my left eye again!


The colored part of the eye that helps regulate the amount of light that enters is called the: See Answer
Comment from: Sabel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

Last July 13, I woke up in the morning with my right eye looking very red as in, it had blood clot in it. It was not painful nor itchy though but I was a bit worried because that was the first time I had it. I didn't seek medical assistance right away. What I did was I used cold cucumber slices like patches in my eyes during night time for 3 consecutive days. Thank goodness it helped a little bit. The dark red color became lighter. But just to make sure that nothing is really serious, I went to see an ophthalmologist, and bingo! I have retinal degeneration. As of the moment, the specialist told me that there’s nothing to worry because it's an age related problem. And for the floaters, she said that everybody is experiencing it but I must be vigilant about its size and frequency of appearance. I will be turning 53 soon.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

My retinal detachment happened to me at age 30. No other health issues, it just randomly happened. I noticed a floater in eye which prompted me to seek help. No treatment was offered.

Comment from: snap1, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I am on my 3rd detached retina. The first one occurred about 12 years ago. And seems to be holding its own with the scleral buckle. The second occurred 7 years ago in the other eye. I have always had trouble with tons of floaters in this eye after the surgery with the scleral buckle; to the point I would have to blink my eye to get them to move so that I could see what I was reading. Now, seven years later here I am with another detached retina in the second eye, having it repaired with the gas bubble. My doctor told me more than likely this one was caused by scar tissue rubbing against the retina and forming a tear. Just for the record I did not know you could have a second in the same eye. I figured after it was fixed; it was fixed. So, if you"ve had a detached retina already, you are not omitted from having this problem again. And diabetes is not the only reason for this retina problem. And it does not occur in just in older people. I am a healthy, 50 plus man who has had problems since I was in my 30s.

Comment from: Al, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 21

I have been seeing a specialist for 12 years for retinoschisis, (fraying at the edge of the retina). He said it would remain stable and it has for all that time. I have had a floater in my right eye for all that time out of the main field of vision and stable. About a month ago, however, I noticed the floater changing shape and getting bigger. Black dots eventually appeared. Suddenly, five days ago, a streak of blood appeared across the field of vision in the right eye that dispersed into a web-like effect. I went to an eye surgery center the next day and was told after the exam that the vitreous had detached from the retina, ruptured a blood vessel, and tore a small hole in the retina. I had laser surgery that day. Afterwards, I had a minor headache and vague nausea for a day or two. Now it seems fine and my vision is clear. The only problem is that the floater has moved into the center of vision in my right eye, and is stained, I guess from the blood discharge. The doctor said that the stain would clear up. I don't know what will happen with the floater.

Comment from: lolo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

Sunday evening I had a bit of a headache. I woke up on Monday morning as if I had a misaligned contact. I also had floaters. As the day progressed, a shade started forming in the inner corner and moving up and outward. Went to the doctor in the morning, and the doctor confirmed I had a retinal detachment and had to have surgery that afternoon. I could not see out of my eye by the afternoon of surgery. The Doctor said my retinal detachment happened unusually fast. I am still recovering.

Comment from: nobles, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 09

I had been treated with injections of Avastin for macular degeneration into my right eye for three years. Recently I saw what appeared to be a shade going from the top of the same eye down. I thought it was just the macular getting worse and waited until my next monthly apt. for another injection. The retinal specialist told be I had a detached retina and needed immediate surgery. I had the scleral buckle, vitrectomy, laser and gas bubble done. The worst part was the face down 24/7 for a week. I am 1 week post op and so far so good. Lots of watering and itching and very little vision. I had already lost central vision from the macular so they were trying to save the peripheral vision. Only time will tell. Never assume that your symptoms are due to an existing condition. See your doctor immediately with any new symptoms.

Comment from: AyeshaZ, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

Oct. 2011 travelled to my father-in-law's hometown on a Thursday to make funeral arrangements. The next day I had excruciating back pain and leg pain. On Saturday I thought I was experiencing sciatica and ended up being transported to the hospital via ambulance. After a sonogram and a CT scan I was diagnosed with DVT. I am 35 years old, female, and have myopia. I started noticing floaters several months before I started seeing flashes of light which I totally ignored (BIG MISTAKE)! On a Friday I noticed a shadowing curtain top. I left part of my left eye, Sunday I went to see the Ophthalmologist, who referred me immediately to retina specialist who booked me for a surgery on Tuesday. Thank God, the surgery was successful, a buckle was placed 360 degree flat to hold the retina back, he also performed Cryo Therapy on my right eye to close some holes. It has been exactly 41 days, I still have some stitches in my left eye, vision is blurry still (I can't focus), and however, I have a follow up appointment next week to remove remainder of stitches (yikes) and to perform 'eye refracture' to optimize the vision. I was told by my doctor that I need to be careful and pay immediate attention to any strange symptoms in both eyes and not take things for granted, and should seek the specialist's support in any situation, as (God forbid) the detachment might happen again. I am grateful for the blessing of my eye sight and would never ever take any part of my body for granted again (neither should you)!


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Comment from: Z16chevelleguy, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 09

I had been working long hours on my car. I went into the house for dinner and noticed what looked like a laser light show out of the corner of my right eye. Asking everyone else if they had seen it and they thought I was crazy. When I went to bed that night I was seeing the lights. Again I asked my wife and she told me no she didn't see them. The next day I had off from work and was in my shop. I started noticing floaters. At first I thought they were either a hair or something in my eye. I looked in the mirror several times for a something like an eye lash, facial hair etc. The next day I went to work and happened to be right next door to my eye Doctor. I stopped in and explained the problem. They had me in a chair in no time and discovered what they felt was a torn retina. I was sent immediately to a Retina specialist. Within 2 hours I was having eye surgery for a torn retina. The retina Doctor told me if it hadn't been taken care of I would have ended up with a detached retina.

Comment from: Ellenie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

One day I suddenly noticed huge, worm-like floaters as well as an increase in the number and size of black floaters I had experienced for years. In addition, a curtain of tiny black holes covered the entire field of vision in that eye. After the vitrectomy and retinoplasty with gas injected in the eyeball I experienced some pain, much discharge, and a blurry, jiggly image in that eye, with greatly decreased vision. I don't know how long it will last; it has been 3 weeks since the surgery and I have a long way to go.

Comment from: irish, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

Day after I came home from a cruise, my right eye started getting blurry. By the third day I was half blind from the bottom of the eye. My eye doctor immediately sent me to a specialist who did surgery within 2 days. By that time I was totally blind in the right eye. The surgery was a success in that I have vision again. Later they removed a large cataract. I have vision distortion because my macula was damaged but it is something I will adjust to in time.

Comment from: cybermab, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

Dark shadow at lower outer corner of eye. Initially was only visible went going from a dark room to a lighted one. Seemed to only appear when I was looking in the opposite direction from the shadow. The shadow did not appear to be opaque, but more like the afterimage you get after looking at a light bulb. I was fortunate that it didn't progress to a macular off detachment because it was 2-3 days before I was convinced that I really saw something and consulted my ophthalmologist, in spite of having experienced prior retinal tears. It can be very subtle in presentation, so don't delay getting help if anything appears out of the ordinary, even if you are not sure you really seeing anything.

Comment from: Yellow85, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

In October of 2010, I was diagnosed with retinal detachment in my left eye. I have also worn glasses since I was 2 years old, and my contact prescription is -11.5. My first symptoms of retinal detachment were floaters in my vision, which I ignored, because I thought it was just something wrong with my contacts. Then I slowly started to lose my visiom. I lost my peripheral vision first, and then it just started closing in like curtains. For my first surgery, they used a buckle and a gas bubble to repair my retinal detachment. When I woke up from that surgery, I was in horrible pain, and I had to stay overnight. Then a month later, my retina detached again. I had a second surgery, and they inserted the gas bubble again. My second surgery was still really painful, but not nearly as bad as my first surgery. A few months after that, I had to get cataract surgery because my previous surgeries caused me to have a cataract. It has now been 10 months since my first surgery, and I have still not gained my vision back all the way. I can only see about two feet in front of my face, and my vision is not flat, everything looks wavy. My doctors want to do another surgery. This would be to remove all the scar tissue I have around my buckle. They believe that this will allow the retina and everything else to go back in place. This has been a very frustrating journey. I have been through three surgeries and still no vision, and I am about ready to do surgery number four. I just want to see again.

Comment from: freespiritkat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

I woke up one morning and saw a "waterfall" of spots in my right eye. The eye felt a little different, also. It was very annoying! The waterfall of spots never went away. It was very visually distracting. I had had cataract surgery about six years ago. I thought maybe there was scar tissue in that eye. I had that issue about three years after the cataract surgery. I went to my physician and got a referral to the eye doctor. He discovered the detaching retina. I had the eye surgery within a week and am still recovering from it. The surgeon did a great job, and it feels as if I will totally recover from it. My vision gets better every day. I had the gas bubble put in and was so glad when it finally left.

Comment from: Sight Scare, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I saw more floaters than usual the week before and the day the retina detached. I thought I had a hair in my eye and tried to brush it away. When it didn't brush away, I thought it might be an eyelash so pulled down my eyelid. When I opened my eye, I saw purple or psychedelic colors. This happened at 10:00 p.m. and by the next day; I had a gray shade covering part of the eye. By end of day the whole eye was shaded. This happened on Fri day night and I had surgery on the following Tuesday. Four weeks later I saw a shadow at the top of the eye and had another tear, but the retina had not detached. Surgery was performed again with the buckle. It has been 5 weeks since the second surgery and I still have the gas bubble but it should dissipate shortly. I was also fortunate to have an outstanding retina surgeon.


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Comment from: john, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 17

I had the surgery to repair retinal detachment over a year back. I still have gas in the eye I had surgery on. Retinal tear is caused by many factors, for me it was itching and pressure. For now I am relying on my left eye to see if the remaining gas gets released. I wonder if anyone’s pupil enlarged and stay that way.

Comment from: suzanne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

Recently, I noticed a curved flashing floater in my left eye. It went away. The floater was made of triangle shaped objects that flashed different colors.

Comment from: mf022513, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I am 49 years old and in good health. I had detached retina surgery done two months ago – laser and a gas bubble were put in. The second surgery was a month ago, when I had silicone oil and a (scleral) buckle put on. Still, part of the retina did not attach. The third surgery last week used the new procedure, Perfluoron (PFO), which was placed behind retina to hold it flat, and it finally attached. This week I will have the PFO removed. I hope this will be it for now. I still don’t have my lens – it will be six months until I get it. I need to go back to work. Any words of encouragement that the retina will stay attached would be great. This has been a nightmare.

Comment from: Bajadude, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 09

First my floaters changed from little cat hairs to black specks of pepper. Within a day or so, a triangle of black flashing appeared at the inside corner of my left eye when I awoke. Then a black curtain started moving toward the center. I knew I had to get help immediately and had the gas surgery that afternoon after my optometrist panicked. The results are good and it’s been about a week. We caught it before it reached the macula. I feel like I dodged a bullet again.

Comment from: ashok, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 05

While undergoing laparoscopy in the hospital for gallstone removal, I suddenly found that I could not see out of my left eye. The central vision was totally gone and my peripheral vision greatly affected. When I consulted a retinal surgeon, I was told that I had suffered both retina and macula detachment due to an eye infection (endophthalmitis). After being treated with Voriconazole to remove the infection, I was advised to go for a vitrectomy. How much vision will be restored is uncertain. Reading will not be possible.

Comment from: Jeans in Canada, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

I had minor flashes of light when I turned my head to the right, only visible when it was dark. A floater followed. About a month later, I thought there was a greasy smudge on my glasses, but after cleaning them, realized it wasn’t my glasses – it was my eye. When I looked in the mirror, one side of the frame looked straight, while the other had a bulge in it. This was followed by what looked like small water drops wafting in and out at the edge of my eye. These weren’t symptoms I’d ever heard about for retinal detachment, but it certainly was. I'm currently recuperating from surgery.

Comment from: sarbr, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I began to notice a small ball of light that would travel across my eye several times a day. This went on for a few weeks until I began to see a flickering ball of light in the corner if I looked in a certain direction. If I looked down there was a strip of light that looked like a pattern from a kaleidoscope. When I finally booked an appointment at the opticians they diagnosed me with a small retinal detachment and referred me straight to the hospital. Months later I received barrier laser treatment to hold the detachment in place. I still see flashing lights but other than that everything is well.

Comment from: Kitty, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I had floaters and light flashes, but this was many years ago. I went to get my eyes checked as it was past time, and I had broken my glasses. Afterwards I still could not see anything without a magnifying glass so I called the doctor. I went in and he said I had a "serious degenative retinal detachment” and needed to get to a retinal specialist right away. I did and they started treatment right then and there. I have been going to get shots in my eyeball for a year now and am still not done. Now I go every 8 weeks. The drug that is being used is called Lucentis and it costs two thousand a shot.

Comment from: Mike, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 17

I had laser surgery for a retinal tear in my left eye earlier today. A short time ago, my eye was aching, and without thinking, I shut my eyes and rubbed them about as hard as you would rub your eyes when you are sleepy. I thought I felt a twinge and now I am really paranoid that tore open the repaired tear. I am very upset with myself. If you have this procedure, don't rub your eyes!

Comment from: Rizzo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 08

Woke up on 11/29/11 had a slight black strip in the lower corner of my left eye. By the end of the day my vision was almost totally gone. Everything was almost totally black. Called doctor immediately. Next day they said I had a severe detachment. The following day I had surgery. Had the bubble installed, but was told to go to sleep on my stomach for 3 days or sleep sitting up. I chose to sleep sitting up. About an hour after surgery the pain was terrible. Felt like someone hit me in the eye with a golf club. Vicodin wasn't much help. Your eye will be swollen for about a week after your surgery. The bubble slowly disappeared after about a week. Don't even try opening your eye until about a week after. Its looks terrible. Only had a patch on my eye for the first 2 days. Be very patient. It is a very slow process. Hard to drive. You have no depth perception. Glad I caught it in time. I have heard horror stories about what happens when you wait too long. Good Luck.

Comment from: Jaz, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

I woke up seeing floaters in my right eye, but thought it was cotton from cleaning my eye make up the night before. Later in the afternoon, I went to the beach and while I was swimming, I started to see flashing lights out of my right eye. I called my eye doctor and was told to go the next day and to refrain from doing any exercise, or picking up anything from the floor. I was told I was having a retinal detachment. They reattached the retina with laser. It's been one month since the incident and my vision is much better, my floaters are gone, but I still see flashes, especially at night.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 14

My partner has been diagnosed with retinal detachment and has today been to an eye hospital and has to have an operation on Monday. In one way we are pleased because we thought all kinds of things were wrong including brain tumor etc. He has been told it will be a one day job and no overnight stay. Relief cannot explain the stress we have been through and hope after the treatment all will be well.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 16

I believe that Lasik (while not a direct cause) can lead to a detached retina. It’s like how knee surgery does not cause arthritis as a disease, but your knee can develop arthritis after having knee surgery. I have had a detached retina in one eye and leaks that they fixed in the other. My scelaral buckle eye sees crystal clear after cataract surgery, but the vision has a portion of the image missing, is warped and cannot read at all. I only hope my other eye does not detach. It has a bad cataract that they do not fix for fear that my retina will detach.

Comment from: Peter W, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 11

My retinal detachment was a result of an accident when my eye was punctured. Following an operation to save my eye, the retina was found to be detached. I had no vision at all from the eye. It was like looking into a black hole.

Comment from: Jackie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 29

For several weeks, I couldn’t see well out of my right eye. I thought it was my hard contacts and waited to see if it would clear up. Then I began to see a gray bar or shading across the top. I saw my optometrist, who immediately said, “detached retina," and sent me upstairs to the retina specialist, who confirmed it. Surgery was scheduled for the following Thursday. The operation lasted about two hours. Three weeks later, the gas bubble he placed in my eye has finally dissolved, but I can't wear my right contact lens for several more weeks. He said it would be three months before we know if the operation was successful.

Comment from: ltracy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

Since my retinal detachment, I see a flashing of light traveling across my visual path. Blurred vision and grey cloudiness when covering my good eye.

Comment from: Elizabeth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I have wet AMD in my right eye, successfully treated with Avastin. Early in the week I noticed the straight lines were starting to fluctuate and thought the AMD was returning. I saw my eye surgeon on Friday and he operated on the following Tuesday. Both the retina and the macula were detached, but the AMD remained dry. The gas bubble disappeared after 2 weeks, and now, 3 weeks after surgery, I have resumed all normal activities, although I may not take a plane for 3 months.

Comment from: osroe2, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 22

With my retinal detachement, my left eye has partially lost its vision, and right half of it is reddish brown. There was some dizziness. I was 47 years old at the time and it happened again a year or so later. It has not happened again. I'm 54 now.

Comment from: rr, Male (Patient) Published: February 17

Symptoms began with what looked like thread in my eye. Now it has happened in both eyes and looks like cobwebs all over my field of vision. Very bothersome. Not sure if eyes are getting worst or have some kind of disease. Wish with all my heart someone would find a cure considering so many people suffer from this.

Comment from: Ms. C, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 15

I think it all started when I was rubbing my eyes at work all the time and then the last 3 or 4 times it felt like something flipped over in my eye so I would blink and it would straighten up. I then noticed while watching TV that I could not see out of the upper corner of my right eye. I went to my eye doctor and he gave me a "field vision test." And sure enough I had a detached retina so he sent me to a surgeon. It has now been almost three years and it still isn't totally healed.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I had floaters and flashing several times over three years which was thoroughly checked by specialists. There was no tear or detachment. When it happened again shortly before Christmas I couldn't get an optician appointment until January. I was referred to a specialist but had to really stress the urgency before I was seen straightaway. I had surgery that night. The gas bubble didn't help and the retina began to peel. I was disappointed that my clinic appointments were so far apart as it was a very worrying time. When finally I saw the surgeon I had to have surgery again the same day, this time with an injection of oil. I haven't been able to drive and the drops have a strange effect on me. Head position has not been stressed although I have asked for specifics. I only know I have to sleep at at least a 30 degree angle. I am extremely worried that this further procedure will not be successful. My life is on hold.

Comment from: debie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 09

I experienced eye floaters for several months before my retinal detachment. It happened very suddenly, but I can pinpoint the exact day that it occurred.