A retinal tear is a potentially serious condition on its own. However, there is also a concern that a retinal tear could progress to retinal detachment, an eye emergency that could cause blindness. With prompt care, there is the opportunity to prevent the progression from tear to detachment. We’ll discuss the issue here.
Retinal Tears and Detachments
Retinal tears are not uncommon. They are often related to the aging process. Like the rest of the body, the eyes change over time. In this situation, the vitreous at the center of the eye changes texture. It becomes increasingly watery and less gel-like. This change causes a pull on the retina that may tear a small piece of this tissue away from the back of the eye. The risk of a retinal tear increases with age. Additional risk factors include having had an eye injury or eye surgery or having severe myopia (nearsightedness).
The concern about a retinal tear is that they deprive the retina of oxygen, which can cause irreparable damage and vision loss. Liquid may also seep under the small tear, causing the retina to pull farther and farther away from the back of the eye. Immediate medical attention must be sought if signs of a severe retinal tear or detachment occur.
The warning signs to look for include:
- A sudden increase in floaters. Nearly every person sees the occasional transparent or grey specs float across their vision. Seeing one or two of them is normal. Seeing a shower or curtain of these specs indicates a retinal tear or detachment.
- Flashes of light
- Decreased peripheral vision
- Sudden blurry vision
- Veils or shadows over vision
Getting Care for a Retinal Tear
The specialists at VitreoRetinal Surgery, PLLC conducts comprehensive retinal scans and tests to diagnose problems like retinal tears. We are proud to serve the medical community and patients in several Minnesota cities. Find us in St. Cloud, Plymouth, Edina, St. Paul, and other areas. Prompt treatment is essential to preserving vision and preventing progression. We are here to help. Contact an office near you to assess your risk or explore symptoms of a retinal tear with an experienced medical specialist.