4 Risk Factors That Can Increase Your Chance Of A Retinal Detachment

It is important to do all you can to keep your eyes healthy, so you can have your vision your entire life. A retinal detachment occurs when your retina tears from the back of your eye, causing blindness. If you don't have surgery immediately to correct your detached retina, you will lose your vision in that eye. It is important to know what factors can lead to your having a detached retina and the signs of detachment. Here are four risk factors that can increase your chance of having a detached retina.

High Myopia

If you wear eye glasses or contact lenses, you may have myopia, which is nearsightedness. Nearsightedness is when you can see up close, but have trouble seeing at a distance. Corrective lenses will have a diopter rating number preceded by a minus sign. The worse your myopia is, the greater the number is. If your diopter is from zero to -3.0, you have mild myopia. Anything between -3.0 to -6.0 is moderate myopia. A -6.0 or greater is high myopia. 

The severity of your myopia can put you at risk of your retina detaching. As your vision gets progressively worse, your eye becomes elongated, stretching your retina thinner. When it gets stretched, it is at risk of tearing loose, causing you to lose your vision in that eye.

If you have a high myopia, it is important to watch out for signs of detaching retina. This includes, the appearance of flashing lights in your vision, many eye floaters, and the appearance of a black curtain covering your vision. You need to see your eye doctor immediately if this occurs, so you can have emergency eye surgery to repair the detachment.


As a diabetic, many aspects of your health are affected, including your vision. By being diabetic, your eyes are put under increased pressure from elevated blood glucose levels, which can lead to damaged blood vessels and diabetic retinopathy. Damaged blood vessels can leak fluids inside your eye, causing scar tissue and also putting pressure on your retina. All this increased pressure can cause your retina to form tiny holes and tears, which can lead to a detachment.

Physical Activity

An additional factor that can put you at risk for having a retinal detachment is lifting heavy weights. According to a recent study, when you lift weights, you are prone to force holding your breath. This act can put pressure on various systems in your body, leading to pressure in your veins, then inside your eyes. When the pressure increases in your eyes, it can cause an already-thin retina to tear or pull loose from inside your eye. 

An individual who has recently experienced retinal detachment determined from their own experiences that living a physically active lifestyle can increase your chances for a detachment. The individual also concluded that if you are severely nearsighted and are over the age of 40, you have a 1 in 20 chance of experiencing retinal detachment during your lifetime. Those without any risk factors only have a 1 in 300 chance of having a retinal detachment.


As you age, the vitreous inside your eye can become thinner and more liquid, pulling away from your retina until it is separated from the retina completely. The chances of your vitreous separating from your retina is about 50 percent by the time you are 50 years old. When your vitreous separates, it pulls on your retina, causing holes and tears in your retina. Once a hole or tear is present, the vitreous will leak through the opening, pulling further on your retina until your retina detaches. 

If you have these four risk factors, you need to read more, get your eyes checked regularly by your eye doctor, and watch for signs of retinal detachment.