What are Retinal Tears? How Does a Retina Get Torn?
Retinal tears occur when the clear gel inside your eyeball changes shape. This is a common occurrence that happens with the natural aging process. In fact, most of the time the gel of the eyeball shrinks without issue. Sometimes as the clear gel, also known as vitreous gel, changes its shape it can pull away from the retina. This is typically associated with inflammation in the eyeball or nearsightedness. When this happens the vitreous can take part of the retina with it. This is what results in a retinal tear. If left untreated this can lead to a retinal detachment.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of a retinal tear may include:
- Floaters, or a sudden onset of black spots in the affected eye
- Flashes of light
If there is associated vitreous hemorrhage (bleeding in the clear cavity of the eye) or retinal detachment, additional symptoms can include blurred vision or a shadow as if curtains are closing in from the peripheral (side) vision. However, in some cases, a retinal tear may not manifest any noticeable symptoms.
How are They Treated?
If a retinal tear has occurred, laser treatment or cryotherapy may be used to seal the tear to prevent the retina from detaching. During laser surgery (photocoagulation), a tiny laser beam is directed through your pupil using a special lens. This creases “spot welds” around the retinal tear to seal it.
During cryotherapy, a small probe is used to freeze the area of the retina surrounding the tear. This creates a scar that seals the hole. Learn more about cryotherapy here.
Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms associated with a retinal tear, contact South Bay Retina today. Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist and retina specialist. Schedule at one of our two locations in the South Bay: San Jose and Gilroy. Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also click the button below to schedule an appointment online.