A detached or torn retina is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately in order to prevent vision loss. At our office, our team of eye care professionals has the skills and expertise to properly diagnose and treat a detached or torn retina for the best possible outcomes.
A torn retina is a serious problem that happens when the retina has a tear or hole that causes your vision to become blurry. This can lead to a detached retina, in which the retina at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. Because retinal detachment is painless, it is important to be aware of the warning signs to know when to seek a professional.
Signs and symptoms of retinal detachment:
- Many floaters appear in your field of vision.
- Flashes of light appear in one or both of your eyes.
- Blurry vision.
- A gradual reduction in peripheral vision.
- A shadow over your field of vision.
As we age, the jelly-like substance that fills the middle of our eye, called vitreous, begins to shrink and become thinner. Usually, this substance moves around on the retina with no issues. However, sometimes it may stick to the retina and pull hard enough to tear it. When this happens, fluid can pass through the tear or hole and detach the retina.
When it comes to retinal detachment, there are three different types, including:
- Rhegmatogenous: This is the most common type, which is caused by a tear in the retina that allows fluid to collect under the retina, pulling it away from underlying tissues. The areas where the retina detaches lose blood supply, leading to vision loss.
- Tractional: This form of detachment can happen when scar tissue grows on the surface of the retina, causing it to pull away from the back of the eye.
- Exudative: With this form of detachment, fluid collects beneath the retina, but there are no holes in the retina. It can be caused by age-related macular degeneration, inflammatory disorders, tumors, or injury to the eye.
In order to diagnose a torn or detached retina, a retinal exam and ultrasound imaging may be performed. There are a number of different treatment options available, including:
- Laser Surgery: A special laser is directed into the eye through the pupil. This will create burns around the tear, creating scarring that connects the retina to the underlying tissue.
- Cryopexy: A freezing probe will be applied to the outer surface of the eye over the tear. This freezing causes a scar to form, helping to secure the retina to the wall of the eye.
- Pneumatic Retinopexy: During this procedure, a bubble of gas or air is injected into the center of your eye. The bubble will push the area of the retina that contains holes against the wall of the eye, discontinuing the flow of fluid into the area behind the retina.
- Scleral Buckling: A piece of silicone material is sutured to the white of the eye over the affected area. This indents the wall of the eye to relieve some of the force caused by the tugging on the retina.
- Vitrectomy: The vitreous is removed along with any tissue that may cause tugging on the retina. Gas, air, or silicone oil is then injected into the vitreous space to flatten out the retina. The liquid, air, or gas will eventually be absorbed, and the vitreous space will refill with fluid. If silicone oil is used, it can be surgically removed months later.
Patients who are experiencing signs and symptoms of a detached or torn retina should seek medical attention immediately. This is a medical emergency that can cause permanent loss of vision. Do not hesitate to contact our office for an eye exam if you are experiencing any symptoms.
To learn more about your treatment options for a torn or detached retina, contact Eye Care Physicians of New Jersey today to schedule your eye exam.