Retinal Tear Lasers

Retinal tear lasers are used to treat retinal tears and prevent further retinal detachments.

What are Retinal Tear Lasers?

Retinal tear lasers are used to treat retinal tears. The eye is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous. As we age, the vitreous gel becomes more liquidus, which can cause the vitreous to clump and form floaters. If the vitreous continues to shrink, it can separate from the back of the eye and result in a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

37515806 – vitreous floaters

PVDs are more common in patients who are nearsighted, have undergone cataract or YAG laser surgery, or have eye inflammation. A PVD is usually not concerning but if the vitreous pulls hard enough, it may tear the retina in one or more places and cause a retinal tear.

If a retinal laser has occurred, laser treatment or cryotherapy may be used to seal the tear to prevent the retina from fully detaching.

What are the types of Retinal Tear Lasers?

  1. Laser surgery (photocoagulation): a tiny laser beam is directed through your pupil with a special lens. This creates “spot welds” around the retinal tear to seal it.
  2. Cryotherapy: a small probe is used to freeze the area of the retina surrounding the tear. This creases a scar that seals the hole.

Prevention and Detection

It is important to monitor your vision daily, one eye at a time, for new flashes and floaters because retinal tears can occur anytime. If you experience injury or trauma to the eye, follow up with your ophthalmologist as soon as possible even if you have no symptoms. If you have new flashes or a sudden burst of floats, schedule an appointment immediately to make sure there is nothing more serious occurring in the eye.

Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, CA

If you are in need of SLT or you have been experiencing vision problems, schedule an appointment at South Bay Retina today. Our own Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist, retina specialist, and surgeon. Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also schedule an appointment online, using the button below.


Call us at (408) 294-3534 or request online.

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(408) 294-3534