The retina lines the back wall of the eye, and is responsible for absorbing the light that enters the eye and converting it into an electrical signal that is sent to the brain via the optic nerve, allowing you to see.
Rhegmatogenous tears are caused by a hole or tear in the retina that allows fluid to pass through and collect underneath the retina, detaching it from its underlying blood supply. Tractional tears are caused by scar tissue that grows on the surface of the retina. Exudative retinal detachments form when fluid leaks out of blood vessels and accumulates under the retina.
The typical symptoms of a retinal detachment include floaters, flashing lights, and a shadow or curtain in the peripheral (noncentral) vision that can be stationary (non-moving) or progress toward, and involve, the center of vision.