Are Retinal Breaks Really a Thing?
The eye is a beautifully complicated organ. There are 3 layers of the eye: the outer layer called the sclera, the middle layer called the choroid, and the inner layer called the retina. The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue located at the back of the eye that converts light that enters the eye into electrical signals that the optic nerve sends to the brain which creates the images you see. Within the retina is the macula, the fovea, photoreceptors, rods and cones. Millions of cells within the retina play a vital role in your vision. Any compromise to the retina can cause serious and possibly permanent changes to your vision.
Are retinal breaks really a thing? Yes. A small tear or break in the retina can develop due to the vitreous, the gel-like fluid in the center of the eye, pooling behind the retina. When this occurs, the vitreous pushes the retina out of place from the back of the eye causing what is known as a retinal detachment. A retinal break is a tiny hole in the retina that does not have any traction or pressure points on the retina (versus a retinal tear which does develop due to any traction or pressure on the retina). Retinal breaks often develop on the outer edges, periphery, of the retina. Although retinal breaks do not always cause vision problems instantly, signs that it has progressed to a detachment will include floaters or flashes of light. In this case, you must seek emergency medical treatment right away to preserve vision and ensure you do not suffer total blindness.
To prevent retinal detachment, an eye surgeon will select a treatment option to seal the hole with either laser photocoagulation or cryopexy. In laser photocoagulation, a laser emits a beam of light that travels through the eye and burns the area around the retinal break to create a scar. This scar tissue helps seal the retinal break to the underlying tissue. In cryopexy, a specially designed probe applies cold therapy to freeze the tissue around the retinal break and secure the hole to the inside of the eyeball.
Don’t wait until changes in your vision cause serious side effects that may indicate a retinal break or retinal detachment. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Associated Retina Consultants that includes retinal imaging. Retinal tests are simple, painless and take just minutes to assess the health of your eyes with a wide digital view of your retina. Call 602-242-4928 or book your appointment conveniently online here WEBSITE.