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Source: National Library of Medicine

The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A retinal detachment lifts or pulls the retina from its normal position. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects men more than women and whites more than African Americans. A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who

  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment
  • Have had cataract surgery
  • Have other eye diseases or disorders
  • Have had an eye injury

Symptoms include an increase in the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. It may also seem like there is a "curtain" over your field of vision.

A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. If not promptly treated, it can cause permanent vision loss. If you have any symptoms, see an eye care professional immediately. Treatment includes different types of surgery.

NIH: National Eye Institute

06/26/2013 08:03 AM EDT

Source: National Library of Medicine

A collapsed lung happens when air enters the pleural space, the area between the lung and the chest wall. If it is a total collapse, it is called pneumothorax. If only part of the lung is affected, it is called atelectasis.

Causes of a collapsed lung include

  • Lung diseases such as pneumonia or lung cancer
  • Being on a breathing machine
  • Surgery on the chest or abdomen
  • A blocked airway

If only a small area of the lung is affected, you may not have symptoms. If a large area is affected, you may feel short of breath and have a rapid heart rate.

A chest x-ray can tell if you have it. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute