Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patient/Carer Notice
eyeMatters periodic news

Bringing you the latest news & resources in eye health


Retinal conditions FAQs


three question marks

Why is the retina so important?

The retina acts like the ‘film’ of a camera, sending information about shapes, colours, patterns and movement via the optic nerve to the brain, where the information is processed. If the retina is damaged, this will cause visual disturbances or loss of vision.

Can I check my retina or macula for signs of damage myself?

No. Your retina lines the inside of the back of your eye and must be examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist using special equipment. Eye drops are used to dilate the pupil to allow proper examination. However, you may be able to use an Amsler Grid to identify signs of change to your central vision. Any concerns should be investigated immediately.

Why do I need surgery for a detached retina?

If surgery to reattach your retina is not performed, there is a high chance you will lose your vision. The eye may also become painful later.

What are eye floaters and are they harmful?

Floaters are particles within the eye that float around like specks or smudges in your field of vision. They occur when the vitreous – the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills your eye – degenerates with age. Floaters can be harmless (e.g. a sign of posterior vitreous detachment). But they may also be a sign of more serious retinal conditions, including retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy,so make sure you have your eyes checked.

References and further reading

General resources

Scientific reference

Kang et al. Management of retinal detachment: a guide for non-ophthalmologists. BMJ. 2008 May 31; 336(7655): 1235–1240. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39581.525532.47

The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Have a question?

IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.

  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Privacy Policy

coloured spectrum bar