The middle of our eye is filled with a clear gel called vitreous that is attached to the retina, the inner lining of the back of the eye.
As we get older, the vitreous may shrink or change shape. Usually, this doesn’t cause damage. However, the vitreous can pull away from the retina, especially if you have nearsightedness (myopia) or inflammation. If the vitreous pulls a piece of the retina with it, it causes a retinal tear. Persistent pull on the tear can lead to a retinal detachment, a condition in which fluid gets under the retina and lifts part or all of the retina away from the back of the eye.
Once detached, the retina no longer works properly, causing vision to become blurry. If not treated surgically, a retinal detachment can cause blindness.