Symptoms of a retinal tear and a retinal detachment can include the following:
• A sudden increase in size and number of floaters, indicating a retinal tear may be occurring;
• A sudden appearance of flashes, which could be the first stage of a retinal tear or detachment;
• Having a shadow appear in the periphery (side) of your field of vision;
• Seeing a gray curtain moving across your field of vision;
• A sudden decrease in your vision.
Floaters and flashes in themselves are quite common and do not always mean you have a retinal tear or detachment. However, if they are suddenly more severe and you notice you are losing vision, you should call your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) right away.
See a simulation of what vision with a torn or detached retina looks like.