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Analysis of symptoms associated with rhegmatogenous retinal detachments


Correspondence: Mr Philip Polkinghorne, Auckland Hospital, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand. Email:


Aim: The symptoms associated with rhegmatogenous retinal detachments are variable and can be associated with other vitreoretinal and neuro-ophthalmic entities. The present study sought to determine the frequency and type of symptoms associated with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD), and analyse any relationships with the premorbid state.

Methods: An observational case series was undertaken. A patient questionnaire together with clinical data was collected for patients presenting with RRD.

Results: The data on 141 patients presenting with RRD were evaluated prospectively. More than 90% of patients reported a variety of symptoms including visual loss, floaters and flashes. The speed of visual loss was not associated with the extent of retinal break. Rather unexpectedly, patients with a history of retinal pathology were not any more likely to be symptomatic either in their presenting or fellow eye. The absence of symptoms was not associated with age, high myopia or previous cataract surgery.

Conclusion: Both patients and physicians need to be aware of the importance of the symptoms associated with RRD.