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Risk factors

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Factors associated with a greater incidence of retinal detachment include:

  • sex - more common in men than in women
  • age - degenerative changes in the vitreous - syneresis - predisposing to posterior vitreous detachment
  • family history of retinal detachment
  • myopia
    • risk of posterior vitreous detachment is high in these patients
    • also the peripheral retina is thinner which leads to tears or hole formation during posterior vitreous detachment (1,2)
  • trauma – important in young patients, may cause premature posterior vitreous detachment (2)
  • aphakia - no lens
  • cataract - congenital; or following extraction -
    • accelerate vitreous liquefaction and posterior vitreous detachment particularly if there was vitreous loss (1)
    • 1 % of patients develop retinal detachment in the following weeks to years after cataract surgery (2)
  • retinal detachment in fellow eye - 25% chance of the second eye being affected
  • dehydration, for example, long plane flights
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • congenital eye diseases (1,2)


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