About Tears and Detachments
Torn or detached retinas usually develop when the vitreous fluid inside of the eye thickens and shrinks, which occurs as a part of the natural aging process. This thickening and shrinking effect causes the fluid to pull away from or tug at the retina, which will initially cause a tear, and eventually, detachment. For most patients, this naturally occurring process only leads to the development of flashes and floaters, which aren't typically serious. However, a sudden or aggressive pull or tug might result in a tear or detachment. Retinal detachments and tears are huge concerns that could cause blindness if not addressed in a timely manner.
If you suddenly notice a development of floaters, flashes, or loss of peripheral vision, we encourage you to schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. The board-certified ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Central PA utilize a full register of advanced technology to diagnose and treat retinal tears and detachments.
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signs of a tear or detachment
The onset or increase of flashes, floaters, blurred vision, and peripheral vision all could be signs of a detached or torn retina. Some other symptoms that could indicate a retinal issue include:
- Sudden reduced normal vision
- Sudden or gradual onset of “shaded” vision, like when clouds pass the sun
- Sudden loss of color vision (bright colors dulling or becoming gray)
The majority of patients will not notice any telltale signs of a retinal detachment or tear until their condition has reached an advanced stage.
what Causes them?
The aging process can affect a lot of areas of our appearance and health, and our eyes are not immune to this. As men and women age, the vitreous fluid inside of their eyes becomes thicker, causing it to clump together and shrink in size. This shrinking is what leads the fluid to pull away from or tug at the retina, creating a tear. When a tear has developed, the fluid might seep through and over time, lift the retina, resulting in detachment. Patients with certain health conditions that lead to inflammation, like diabetes or autoimmune diseases, or those with myopia, have a higher chance of experiencing a detachment or tear.
It's better for the health of your eyes to have serious issues, like retinal tears, diagnosed as soon as possible so the retina does not eventually detach. Treatment for retinal tears is typically less invasive and can produce tremendous improvements. One option we offer for patients with retinal tears is panretinal photocoagulation, an advanced laser procedure that seals the tear in the retina to prevent additional fluid from leaking, hopefully preventing detachment.
While retinal tears have less intensive solutions, retinal detachment typically requires surgery for correction. Techniques utilized to put the retina back in its natural place are often more invasive and require much longer recovery periods. The majority of men and women can achieve improved vision and eye health following retinal surgery, but the amount of vision you regain will vary based on the damage done to the retinal nerves. At The Eye Center of Central PA, we perform many different types of retinal surgeries for patients to suit their unique situation.
Call Today for Help
If you think you've noticed any indications of a retinal tear or detachment, it's crucial that you receive a comprehensive eye examination from a board-certified ophthalmologist soon. At The Eye Center of Central PA, our team is proud to offer patients throughout Central Pennsylvania the highest level of services and treatments to improve their eye health and vision. Get in touch with one of our offices to have your eyes assessed and prevent any further damage.