Detached retina

Illustration of retinal detachment

Illustration copyright 2001, 2003 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

The retina is made up of two layers: the sensory retina and the retinal pigment epithelium, or RPE. The sensory retina contains light-sensitive nerve cells. The RPE is a layer of support cells behind the sensory retina.

In retinal detachment, the sensory retina pulls away from the RPE, and fluid builds up between the two layers. Or a retinal tear can cause fluid to collect under the retina and may cause the retina to detach.

Last Updated: August 26, 2009

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

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