The retina is in the back of your eye. It helps to translate what you see to impulses that can go through the optic nerve and into your brain. Sometimes your retina can become detached from the back of your eye. If that happens, you could become blind if you aren't treated. So, how can you tell if your retina has become detached, and what can you do if it does?
There are several things that can cause retinal detachment. One of them is severe trauma. For example, if you were to get hit in the head hard enough, it could cause a partial or full retinal detachment. Other things include age, severe myopia, and other eye diseases. Illnesses, like diabetes, can also be a contributing factor because they can cause damage to the blood vessels behind your eye, which in turn can cause tears and damage to the retina.
If you have ever looked at a pale colored space, you have probably seen little floaters in your field of vision. Most people have them; having a few is perfectly normal. They happen when some of the vitreous inside your eye breaks loose and starts to float around. The vitreous starts out as a gel inside your eye, but as you get older it starts to become more liquid. The remaining gel is what becomes floaters.
A few floaters here and there aren't a problem. The problem arises when you start to see a whole lot of them all of a sudden. If the number and frequency of your floaters increase all of a sudden, they could be blood instead of vitreous. Likewise, if they appear darker or more solid, that is also a warning sign. The change in floaters is something that should cause you to see a Surrey optometrist as soon as possible. Seeing flashes in your field of vision is another warning sign.
The best thing you can do is get in to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible. You will have to have surgery in order to repair the retina. In most cases, the surgery will restore your vision completely. After the surgery, your doctor will probably tell you that there are certain things you have to do for a few weeks until the retina is fully healed. That can include sleeping with your head in a certain position and avoiding strenuous activity.
But there are a few things that you can do before you can get into your doctor's office. One of them is to be as still as possible. That can include laying flat on your back. If you do that, the retina and the eye may rest together, alleviating some of the problems.
If your retina detaches, it is something that is a medical emergency. The sooner you can get treated, the better. Knowing what to look for and what you can do until you can see a doctor can make a full recovery more likely.