Retinal Detachment: Care Instructions

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Anatomy of the eye


The retina is a thin nerve membrane in the back of your eye. It detects light entering the eye. Then it sends signals to your brain about what the eye sees.

Retinal detachment means the retina has separated from the wall of the eye. This can lead to severe vision loss or blindness.

Surgery can reattach your retina. The sooner it's done, the better chance you'll be able to see well again.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Follow any instructions your doctor gave you. You may need to rest and sleep with your head in a certain position. You may also need to wear an eye patch or use eye drops.
  • Your doctor may advise you not to travel by plane until your eye is healed. This is because the changes in air pressure may cause pain and affect your eye.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have vision changes.
  • You see new flashes of light.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You see new or worse floaters.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.