Car Accidents Can Cause Retinal Detachment


Every year, thousands of Americans sustain eye injuries in a car accident.

One of them is retinal detachment.

What is Retinal Detachment?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a retinal detachment describes an emergency situation in which the thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. The detachment separates the retina cells from the layer of blood vessels that are responsible for providing oxygen and nourishment.


The condition is painless, however there are warning signs before it occurs or has advanced. They include:

  • Blurred vision
  • The sudden appearance of many floaters (tiny specks that seem to drift through your line of vision)
  • A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Gradually reduced peripheral vision

If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.

How Retinal Detachment is Diagnosed

Even if you only have symptoms in one eye, the doctor will likely examine both. There are a few diagnostic methods, but probably the most common is a retinal examination in which the doctor uses an ophthalmoscope. This is an instrument that provides a highly detailed view and a bright light so the doctor can easily detect any retinal detachments, holes, or tears.


Detached retinas require surgery as soon as possible, and it can take several months for your vision to improve.

If you sustained a detached retina in a car accident, please contact us to discuss your case.

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