About Tears and Detachments
Retinal tears and detachments are often the result of the age-related thickening and shrinkage of the vitreous fluid in the eye. Over the years, the vitreous fluid shrinks as it becomes denser, which causes it to tug at or pull away from the retina. Most of the time, the thickening and tugging only result in non-serious floaters and flashes; however, a sudden or aggressive tug or pull can cause a tear or detachment. Retinal tears and detachments are quite serious, and if not treated quickly and properly, can lead to blindness.
If you have a sudden onset of flashes, floaters, or loss of peripheral vision, make an appointment as possible. To best serve our Rhode Island patients, we have offices in Johnston, North Kingstown, Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket, RI. At Koch Eye Associates, our team of experts is trained to use advanced technology and cutting-edge techniques to diagnose and treat retinal tears or detachments.
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The sudden appearance of floaters, flashes, and blurred vision and the sudden loss of peripheral vision are all common symptoms of a torn or detached retina. Other symptoms to be aware of are:
- Sudden loss of color vision (bright colors dulling or becoming gray)
- Sudden worsening of normal vision
- Sudden or gradual “dimming” of vision, like when clouds pass the sun or when curtains are closed
However, some patients do not have any symptoms until the tear or detachment is in an advanced stage.
As we age, the vitreous fluid that fills our eyes starts to become denser, causing it to shrink. This shrinkage can cause the vitreous fluid to pull away from the retina and create a tear. Once a tear has formed, the fluid can seep through it, eventually lifting and detaching the retina. Individuals who have certain medical issues that cause inflammation, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, or who have myopia, have a higher probability of developing retinal tears and detachments.
Ideally, retinal tears should be diagnosed and treated early to ensure that a detachment does not develop. The treatments for tears are less invasive, and the ultimate vision outcomes are usually very positive. The most common treatments for a retinal tear use laser or cryotherapy technology to seal the tear before the vitreous fluid is able to pass through it. Sealing a tear can prevent a detachment from developing.
Retinal detachments typically require surgery. The procedures used to situate the retina back in its natural position are more invasive than procedures for tears, but the majority of patients are able to obtain improved vision. However, vision after surgery does depend on how much damage was done to the retinal nerves. There are a few different types of reattachment surgeries, and your Koch Eye Associate ophthalmologist will determine which is best for you after thoroughly examining your eye.
Call Today for Help
If you have any of the symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment, it is vital that you have your eye examined as soon as possible. At Koch Eye Associates, our team of eye health experts can provide a fast, accurate diagnosis and get you into the proper treatment right away. We strongly encourage you to contact one of our Rhode Island offices today so we can prevent any further retinal and vision damage.