Retinal Detachment Compensation Claims

Retinal detachment is a serious condition of the eye that should be treated as soon as possible.

More about Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that requires prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment. If you have suffered harm as a result of a misdiagnosis or delayed treatment of retinal detachment, our retinal detachment solicitors can help you to pursue a claim for compensation. At Forbes Solicitors, we have a team of specialist retinal detachment claims solicitors who can provide expert advice and representation to help you to recover the compensation you deserve.

What is Retinal Detachment?

What is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment refers to a condition in which the retina, which is the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, becomes separated from the underlying tissue. This can cause vision loss and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness.

At Forbes Solicitors, our team deal with a variety of cases involving medical malpractice and can help you with a number of different issues that come under medical negligence. This includes mistakes made during surgeries for retinal detachment.

What is retinal detachment?

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is when a paper-thin layer of tissue (the retina) that is key in the function of visual recognition starts to pull away from the back of the eye. This causes it to lose the supply of oxygen it receives from blood vessels and can eventually lead to blindness.

Due to the severe effects that this serious condition can have upon a patient's sight, it should be treated as soon as possible. Allowing the development of this condition could mean further treatment is needed, treatment that will cost the patient further stress, time, and money.

What does retinal detachment look like?

Retinal Detachment is difficult to observe just through a visual examination, symptoms of the condition mostly involve an obvious change to the patient's vision. Signs that your retina may be detached are floaters (specks that drift into your line of vision), flashes of sudden unexpected light, blurry vision, poor peripheral vision, and shadows over your eyesight.

What causes retinal detachment?

What causes retinal detachment?

The most common factors that cause a retinal detachment of the eye are accidental injury (traumatic retinal detachment) and ageing, with three main forms of the condition, such as tractional, exudative, and rhegmatogenous.

It is very important to get your eyes checked regularly as you get older or if you believe you have damaged your eye in some way, so that your optician or ophthalmologist can confirm you haven't got any serious conditions, like retinal detachment.

However, there isn't just one type of diagnosis when it comes to retinal detachment cases, as mentioned before there are three main forms that the condition takes. These include:

Tractional - This is when retinal detachment happens as a result of it being pulled from the back of the eye by scar tissue. This is most commonly as a result of diabetes.

Exudative - This type of retinal detachment is caused by fluid build-up at the back of the eye, usually as a result of blood vessels that are leaking or swelling of some kind. There are a number of underlying illnesses that can cause this, from accidental injury or ageing to even rare eye disorders like coats disease.

Rhegmatogenous - The most common type and caused by a tear or break of your retina. Ageing is usually the underlying reason for this type of retinal detachment.

How long can retinal detachment go untreated?

How long can retinal detachment go untreated?

This condition is considered a medical emergency, so as soon as you notice symptoms of retinal detachment you should go and see an optician or ophthalmologist. It varies drastically case-to-case on how quickly a detachment can develop, so in order to prevent permanent damage to your sight or even blindness you should seek help immediately if you suspect you may have the condition.

I dealt with Lisa Atkinson from the Blackburn branch. Lisa was always open and honest with regards to what we could expect from the case. Always quick to respond to any query we had, updated us along the way and was always professional. I found her to be very thorough in all dealings that we had with her, and would not hesitate to use again. Thank you.

Lisa Bromilow
How long before retinal detachment causes blindness?

How long before retinal detachment causes blindness?

It is dependent on how long the condition goes untreated, as if it is diagnosed and dealt with promptly the patient is likely to make a full recovery. However, if cases of retinal detachment are misdiagnosed or left to develop further without treatment then the condition can certainly lead to blindness and/or permanent damage to your eyesight from a couple of months to a year.

What is the treatment for retinal detachment?

What is the treatment for retinal detachment?

If you experience any symptoms of retinal detachment the first step is to go to your optician immediately and be professionally examined, to determine whether or not you definitely have the condition. If your optician suspects that you have a detachment, you must seek professional emergency medical treatment immediately and be seen by an ophthalmic surgeon.

The standard treatment for this kind of condition usually involves the injection of oil into the eye, in an attempt to push the retina back into place and promote healing. It is normal to have some eye pain after retinal detachment surgery and even swelling/redness in the days after, but this should go away at the latest a couple of weeks post op. Vision should return to normal within three to six months.

How rare is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachments are quite rare - they most commonly happen in those who are older, usually age forty years and up. They are especially rare in children and young people, unless they have an accidental injury that causes it to happen.

Retinal detachment medical negligence

Retinal detachment medical negligence

If your ophthalmologist does not assess you properly, it can lead to serious eye conditions being misdiagnosed or even missed, such as retinal detachment. If this is not treated straight away it could lead to permanent vision problems or even blindness later down the line.

There are ways you can spot if the optician who is examining you is performing it correctly, for if they do not fully dilate the pupil, to examine the back of the eye, then they can miss key signs of the condition. If they do not take the presenting symptoms you're experiencing seriously and perform an inadequate diagnosis, then this can affect you later in life.

At Forbes we have dealt with a number of cases of malpractice and poor examination, where an optician's inability to detect the presence of a retinal tear has led to putting a patient at risk of vision loss.

Making a personal injury claim against retinal detachment

Making a personal injury claim against retinal detachment

If you believe you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, or negligence concerning retinal detachment, then you could be able to make a personal injury claim against a practitioner with the right evidence to prove your case showing how it has had an effect on your day-to-day life and wellbeing.

You could receive compensation if you believe there was a delay in the detection of your symptoms and diagnosis of retinal detachment, as well as mistakes made during treatment and surgery. The compensation you can receive should be able to go towards day-to-day assistance and overall support you may need due to malpractice.

Please contact one of our solicitors who will be able to advise you whether you have a case and the process involved. We work on a no-win no fee basis with a reduced success fee if the claim is successful.

Retinal Detachment FAQs

Signs of retinal detachment

Some of the key signs of retinal detachment that you or your medical practitioner should look out for include, blurred sight, a reduction in the quality of peripheral vision, shadowing, and the appearance of specks in your field of vision. If you experience these, you should consult a specialist to evaluate your eyesight.

How long can retinal detachment go untreated?

Depending on the severity of your detached retina, it may be difficult to notice when you are experiencing symptoms and signs that you have the condition. This means that it could go untreated until it is severely detached, so you should attend regular check-ups so that any symptoms are noticed.

How long before retinal detachment causes blindness?

If the retina is severely detached, blindness or damage to your central vision can happen extremely quickly, with some patients even losing sight within a day or two of detachment. That is why it is so important to seek treatment as soon as you have been diagnosed.

What is the treatment for retinal detachment?

To treat a detached retina, they must perform a vitrectomy, using a band to push the wall of the eye and retina together in an effort to reattach. They must then inject gas into the eye so that your retina is once again pushed to the back of the eye.

How rare is retinal detachment?

The condition is quite rare and very few people are diagnosed with retinal detachment, they tend to occur in those who are older and who have degenerative eye problems. It is important that you still have regular check ups though to ensure that you do not have the condition.

Recognition for our work

Our dedicated Clinical Negligence team

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Partner, Personal Injury

John Bennett

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Partner, Clinical Negligence

Leonie Millard


Senior Associate, Personal Injury

Lisa Atkinson

Your Clinical Negligence Claim

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