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Am Fam Physician. 2004 Apr 1;69(7):1691-8.

Evaluation and management of suspected retinal detachment.

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  • 1Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Retinal detachment often is a preventable cause of vision loss. There are three types of retinal detachments: exudative, tractional, and rhegmatogenous. The most common type is rhegmatogenous, which results from retinal breaks caused by vitreoretinal traction. Risk factors for retinal detachment include advancing age, previous cataract surgery, myopia, and trauma. Patients typically will present with symptoms such as light flashes, floaters, peripheral visual field loss, and blurred vision. Early intervention facilitates prevention of retinal detachment after formation of retinal breaks and improves visual outcomes of retinal detachment surgery. Patients with acute onset of flashes or floaters should be referred to an ophthalmologist.

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