Seemingly Small Eye Injuries Have Serious Results

retinal detachmentIf asked to picture a car accident injury, many people probably jump to the bloody and grotesque. They might picture broken bones, head wounds, or spinal cord damage. It’s true that all these injuries — along with any others — can arise from a car accident. But plenty of injuries aren’t as noticeable. In fact, they might not even be seen or felt after an accident! One of these is injuries is retinal detachment.

What is Retinal Detachment?

The retina is part of the eye. It’s a thin layer of tissue, comprised of cell and nerve fibers, that covers the inside of the eye. The retina is sensitive to light, and triggers nerve impulses that pass through the optic nerve, reaching the brain where they help to form visual images. Like other parts of the eye, the retina is very small but very important.

When the retina tears or breaks, this is called retinal detachment. This can occur through inflammation or eye abnormalities, but can also result from trauma. There are three main types of retinal detachment:

  1. Rhegmatogenous detachment. This is when a tear or breaks allows fluid to get underneath the retina, separating it from its pigment cell layer, called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Rhegmatogenous detachment is the most common type of detachment.
  2. Tractional detachment. This occurs when scar tissue on the retina’s surface contracts, causing the retina to separate from the RPE.
  3. Exudative detachment. In this type, fluid leaks into the area underneath the retina, even though there are no breaks or tears. Exudative detachment is commonly the result of eye injury or trauma.

Retinal detachment is not painful. Usually, people do not feel it happen at all. This is why it’s important to know the symptoms. If left untreated, retinal detachment can cause permanent blindness.


  • “Floaters” or tiny specks that drift through the field of vision
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • A curtain-like shadow across the field of vision

Retinal detachment is just another reason why you need to see a doctor after a car accident. Even if you feel unhurt, or have no visible injuries, an experienced doctor will be able to tell if you have any invisible injuries, including retinal detachment.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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