Retinal Tears and Detachments

The retina is a thin, light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. The light rays from your surroundings enter the eye through the cornea and pupil and hit the lens. The lens then focuses the light onto the retina. The retina converts the light rays into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as the images we see. When the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position it is referred to as a retinal detachment. In some cases, there may be small areas of the retina that are torn, these are called retinal tears and may lead to a more serious retinal detachment.

retinal tear detach

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden or gradual increase in floaters

  • Flashes in the eye

  • The appearance of a curtain over the field of vision

  • A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Call us immediately if you experience sudden changes in vision

Treatment Options

Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery in the doctor’s office. During laser surgery tiny burns are made around the tear to “weld” the retina in place. Retinal detachments are treated with surgery preformed in the hospital. In some cases, retinal detachments are treated with a scleral buckle, and in others a vitrectomy is preformed. The type of treatment varies by case. With modern therapy over 90% of those with a retinal detachment can be successfully treated, although sometimes a second treatment is needed.