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Health Tip: Detached Retina

It's a medical emergency

(HealthDayNews) -- A retinal detachment occurs when a tear in the eye's retina lets fluid separate it from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the pigmented cell layer that nourishes the retina.

If you or someone you know shows symptoms of this condition, it should be treated as a medical emergency that can result in blindness. Seek help immediately.

Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in the number of floaters -- little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision. Other symptoms can be light flashes in the eye, and what appears to be a curtain over the field of vision.

Retinal detachment can occur at any age, but is more common in people older than 40, the National Eye Institute says. The condition affects men more than women, and is more common among people who are extremely nearsighted, who have had a retinal detachment in the other eye, who have a family history of retinal detachment, or who have had an eye injury.

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