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.
"I first went to Koch Eye many years ago after being referred there for a follow up appointment after being treated at the emergency room for an eye injury, That was the only time I actually saw Dr. Koch himself (who was very nice by the way) It is only in the last few years (since my old lady eyes have begun to need reading glasses) that I have come in regularly for my eye exam and glasses prescription. I never have any problem with wait time because there are several optometrists. Really the only thing I am not crazy about is their hours. I wish it was possible to get an evening appointment or that there was an occasional Saturday. The office staff is pleasant and courteous"- I.C. / Yelp / May 09, 2019
"Kathy and Zach at Koch Vision Store are just terrific; very knowledgeable about selections and have great recommendations when one is considering lenses/frames."- J.M. / Google / Nov 22, 2019
"I had been going to Vision World/ Works for the last 20 years for eye exams, glasses, contacts. When I was last seen a few years ago I was told my eyes had weakened and I needed -6.0 in my left eye and -5.0 in my right, a substantial increase from -4.75 left and -3.75 right two years before. Needless to say I experienced hyperopia and needed readers for the first time. I wasn't able to read labels, see my phone, or use a laptop without readers of at least +2.5. I was recentl...y seen by Dr Besen at Koch Eye who prescribed contacts of -5.25 left and -4.25 right. I'm absolutely certain that Vision World had me in lenses that were too strong because now I can see my laptop without readers, and I can see my phone if I hold it at arms length. Not only can I see better (for distance as well as close up), but the entire experience of walking into Koch, being greeted by reception, having a preliminary exam by the optician assistants, receiving a full eye exam by the optometrist, being properly fitted for glasses by the optician, and checking out with reception, is exponentially superior with Koch. Clearly the entire staff enjoy their careers, and are friendly, professional, and completely competent. Thank you, Koch Eye Associates! I will recommend you to everyone I know. Sincerely, Kate Carroll"- K.C. / Facebook / Nov 13, 2019
"Everyone is always completely professional and so friendly and accommodating. Thank you Danielle, Nancy, Janine, Catherine, Jess and Dr. Fantoni! Highly recommend!"- J.M. / Google / Sep 13, 2019
"Koch Eye Associates saved my vacation. I was here from out of town and ripped my last contact lens. I was lucky I had my prescription with me and they had my lens in stock. In less than 20 minutes, I had a brand new lens and was on my way! Thank you Koch Associates for saving me from a very long ride home with only1 contact lens in my eyes. Very courteous friendly staff who were willing to listen and help and save my day!"- L.M. / Google / Aug 16, 2019
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.