The retina is the thin inner lining of the eye. It plays a vital role in our ability to see clearly, which is why it is important to understand certain types of damage that it may face. Sometimes, tears can form in the retina, which can lead to serious eye conditions. Below, we explore three critical things to know about retinal tears, including treatment options that may be available.
1. Causes of Retinal Tears
The clear, gel-like substance that fills the cavity of the eye is known as the vitreous. This cavity is lined by the retina, and the gel is attached to it. However, as we begin to age, the gel separates from the retina and creates what is known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). For those with a naturally more adhesive vitreous, as it begins to separate from the retina over time, it does so abnormally, which causes the retina to tear. Tears can progress to more serious conditions over time. Retinal tears may also be a result of trauma to the eye, but most occur due to PVD. Risk factors include:
- Advanced age
- Thin patches within the retina
- Eye injury or trauma
- Family history of retinal tears
- Family history of retinal detachment
2. Symptoms of Retinal Tears
Patients with retinal tears may experience black spots in the visual field of the affected eye. These spots are known as floaters and can come about suddenly. Another common symptom of retinal tears is photopsias, which are flashes of light that happen at random within the eye and usually in the peripheral vision. Blurry vision and reduced peripheral vision may occur, and you may notice a shadow-like dimness that covers your field of vision. It is important to pay attention to any symptoms and seek treatment immediately if you suspect you may have a retinal tear.
3. Treatment Options for Retinal Tears
If left untreated, retinal tears can cause complete retinal detachment and vision loss. As such, prompt diagnosis of a retinal tear is the key to a good prognosis. Retinal tears are often treated with safe and effective laser or cryotherapy procedures that are performed in-office. Our skilled providers are committed to your comfort throughout treatment and take steps to minimize your discomfort.
Retinal Tear Treatment in West Palm Beach and Jupiter
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of retinal tears, do not delay in seeking treatment at Mittleman Eye. To make an appointment, patients can schedule online or call or text 561-500-2020 to get started.