Retinal Tear Prevention – Part One

A retinal tear is a rip that occurs in the retina of the eye. This happens when the vitreous liquid pulls on the retina. A retinal tear will often go undetected without eye checkups and exams because its symptoms are painless. Such symptoms include the appearance of, or an increase in, floaters or flashes. Another symptom of a retinal tear is the appearance of a shadow or curtain descending over one eye, which often appears in the periphery field of vision and grows in size. A sudden decrease in one’s quality of vision may also indicate a retinal tear.

Whether or not they interfere with a person’s vision, a retinal tear can put a patient at risk for vision loss since it allows fluid to seep under the retina through the tear and can gradually lift the retina off, causing a retinal detachment. Because of this risk, the doctors at Associated Retina Consultants will often monitor a person’s retinas for tears, which can be detected by dilating the pupils with special eye drops. Once detected, a retinal tear can be sealed to the wall of the eye using lasers or cryotherapy (freezing treatment). These procedures are typically painless and leave a scar at the back of the eye, which seals the retina and prevents fluid from leaking in.

If a retinal tear is left untreated, it can lead to a retinal detachment, which may result in the retina losing nutrients carried through the blood supply. This can result in the retina losing its ability to function; in some cases, permanently. Large retinal detachments require surgical treatment, while small detachments can be repaired with a laser in the same manner that retinal tears are sealed.

Retinal Tear Prevention Part Two to be continued.

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