Know all about Retinal Tears

What are Retinal tears and detachment? -Vision Loss due to damaged Retina The retina lines the eye. It gathers light and changes it into signals that the brain transforms into visual images. Sometimes part of the retina either tears, pulls away or detaches from the back of the eye. When this occurs, that part of the retina cannot gather light. Vision loss may occur. Tears or detachment results from aging, an eye-injury, or another eye problem.
Dr. Niteen Dedhia’s talk on Retinal Tears
Retinal-Tears11Symptoms of a retinal tear If you have a tear, you may notice :
  • Floaters (specks or threads in your vision).
  • Flashes (lights, stars or streaks in your vision).
  • Sudden blurry vision.
Symptoms of a detachment If you have a detachment, you may notice :
  • Signs of a tear (floaters, flashes, and blurry vision).
  • An area of dark vision, like a curtain or veil coming down.

How to Prevent Vision Loss

Early treatment helps prevent vision loss from retinal tears and detachment. If you have any of these symptoms, immediately consult an eye doctor. You are at greater risk for tears and detachment if you:
  • Are very near-sighted,
  • Have had a detachment before or
  • Have a family history of retinal problems.

Warning Signs

A lot of people see flashes and floaters from time to time. But sometimes these or other symptoms can be signs of a tear or detachment. Call your doctor quickly if you notice any of the following:
  • The vision becomes blurry and diminished.
  • Your vision changes after a sharp blow to an eye.
If you are at risk, have eye exams as often as your eye doctor suggests. Regular eye examination is a necessity. Treating retinal tears and detachment: If you have a small retinal hole, your doctor may simply check your eyes often. This is to make sure the hole does not get worse. Tears and detachments usually require treatment.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Regular eye exams help catch problems before they limit your vision. During an exam, your doctor will :
  • Ask you questions. Information about your health and your family history of eye problems help your doctor learn whether you're at risk.
  • Test your vision.
  • Examine your eyes. To see your retina better, your doctor may dilate your pupils and use special instruments.

Treating retinal tears and detachment

If you have a small retinal hole, your doctor may simply check your eyes often. This is to make sure the hole does not worsen. Tears and detachments usually require treatment.

Sealing a tear

Sealing tears prevents fluids from leaking and causing a detachment. Tears can be treated right away in the doctor's clinic or at a surgery centre which specialises in laser or freezing therapy. Each of these treatments seals the retina to the back of the eye, and prevents progressive deterioration of the tear. 

Fixing a detachment

Detachments can be treated in the doctor's clinic or a surgery centre. You may have more than one type of treatment. They include the following:
  • The tear that caused the detachment is sealed with a laser or by freezing.
  • The vitreous may be removed by surgery to keep it from pulling on the retina.
  • A gas bubble may be placed in the eye. Or a flexible band may be placed around the eye. These hold the retina in place.

It's Up to You

If you notice symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment, call your doctor right away. Quick treatment is the key to preventing vision loss from these eye problems.