What is a retinal tear?
Retinal tears happen when your retina — the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of your eye — rips or develops a hole. You rely on your retinas to see clearly, and a tear can lead to a serious complication called retinal detachment, which can cause vision loss.
The vitreous within your eye is the gel-like substance that helps your eye hold its form. Your retina is attached to the vitreous when you’re born but later separates from it. For most people, the separation doesn’t pose a problem. However, a particularly sticky vitreous can tug on your retina and cause a tear.
You can also experience retinal tears because of traumatic eye injuries, though that is less common.
Am I at risk for a retinal tear?
Dr. Warren and the team at Third Coast Retina can inform you of your risk of experiencing retinal tears. While having risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience a retinal tear, they increase your likelihood.
Your risk for retinal tears is higher than the average if you:
- Are aging
- Are nearsighted
- Have family members with retinal tears
- Have had eye surgery in the past
- Have a particularly thin retina
You can mitigate these risks by visiting THIRDCOAST RETINA for regular eye examinations and care. The team can also help protect your eyes from injuries when possible.
What are the signs of a retinal tear?
Retinal tears don’t always cause symptoms, but when they do, those symptoms typically occur spontaneously. Some early signs of a retinal tear are:
- Flashes in your visual field
- Increasing eye floaters
- Shadows in your peripheral vision
- Black dots in your visual field
Going to THIRDCOAST RETINA right away helps avoid retinal detachment. Retinal detachment can result in a permanent loss of vision.
How are retinal tears treated?
Dr. Warren and the team evaluate your retinal tear and offer highly effective treatment, especially if you report symptoms early. After administering numbing anesthesia, they may recommend:
Laser treatment repairs your retinal tear with a powerful single-wavelength light beam. The process takes less than 15 minutes in the office at THIRDCOAST RETINA.
Cryotherapy is a freezing procedure that seals the wall of your eye using extremely cold temperatures. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes in the office at THIRDCOAST RETINA.
To find out if you have a retinal tear and decide on the best course of treatment, call THIRDCOAST RETINA or schedule an appointment online today.