The Marfan Foundation

Know the signs. Fight for victory.

Eye Emergencies

Marfan syndrome significantly increases your risk of retinal detachment, a serious condition that should be treated as an emergency. Retinal detachment is a separation of the light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye (the retina) from its supporting layers.

It is important to receive immediate evaluation and care of a retinal detachment because the longer you wait for treatment, the greater the chance that the retinal detachment will become more severe. The more severe the detachment, the less vision may return. Any surgery has its risks; however, an untreated retinal detachment usually results in permanent, severe vision loss or blindness.

Symptoms of retinal detachment

Early symptoms that may indicate a retinal detachment are:

  • Bright flashes of light, especially in peripheral vision
  • Translucent specks of various shapes (floaters) in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Shadow or blindness in a part of the visual field of one eye

What you can do

As in any emergency, it is best to be prepared in advance. Complete the Emergency Preparedness Kit, which helps you gather important information such as medical history, medical and personal contact information, legal documentation, allergies, etc., and keep it handy to take with you to the hospital.

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The Eyes in Marfan syndrome