Symptoms of Retinal Tears and Detachment
Retinal tears may develop without any noticeable symptoms. In other cases, the vitreous gel pulling away from the retina may cause you to see flashes of light or floaters. Floaters and flashes do not always indicate a serious problem, such as retinal tears, but a complete eye exam is necessary to determine their significance.
You may notice wavy or watery vision, or a curtain or shadow may appear across the field of vision. Occasionally, detachment occurs suddenly and is accompanied by a total loss of vision.
- No symptoms
- Flashes of light
- Wavy or watery vision
- Loss of vision
Diagnosis and Treatment of Retinal Tears and Detachment
Dr. Newman will use the latest technology to examine your eyes for indicators of retinal tears or detachment. Using computerized ophthalmic imaging, fundus photography or fluorescein angiography, he may see into the back of the eye and pinpoint small leaks in blood vessels and damage to the retina. Ultrasound testing may be used when visibility into the eye is limited from a cataract, and to measure growths in the eye and thickness of certain layers of tissue.
Once the retina becomes detached, it must be repaired surgically, as soon as possible. Dr. Newman will use an outpatient method in our office to create a scar that welds the retina to the back of the eye to prevent further tearing. The scar seals the tear and blocks fluid from passing under the retina.
- Laser light treatment
Heat from the laser is used to place small scars around the edge of the tear to seal the break.
More than 90% of retinal detachments may be surgically repaired. The healing process may take from 4 to 6 six weeks, and the degree of vision present six months after surgery depends on several factors, including the length of time from detachment to treatment, the severity of the detachment and the portion of the retina which was affected. Typically, vision is restored and further sight loss is prevented.