Retinal detachment usually begins with a retinal tear or hole in the retina. When a small hole or tear occurs, fluid from the eye can seep into the space between the retina and the back of the eye, which peels the retina away further.
When the retina detaches from the back of the eye, it cannot function. This means that when the retina is partially detached, there is a gap in the vision. But when it is fully detached, the affected eye is completely blind.
Movement of the vitreous gel
The vitreous ‘gel’ within the eye tends to shrink with age and can pull on the retina. In some cases, the vitreous gel can peel the retina away from the back of the eye, resulting in a macular hole or retinal tear. This can progress into a retinal detachment if left untreated.
Injury or trauma
Very occasionally, an injury to the eye or trauma can result in a retinal detachment.