The retina is the inner lining of the eye; it is the part of the eye that contains light-sensitive tissue and creates vision. Retinal tears can happen as a result of trauma to the eye or a naturally occurring posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

What is posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)?

The vitreous is a clear gel-like substance that is attached to the retina at birth. With age, PVD occurs when this gel naturally separates from the retina. In most cases, it does not cause any issues. For those with abnormally ‘sticky’ vitreous gel, however, PVD can spontaneously cause retinal tears.

“As commonly discussed with my patients, untreated retinal tears may result in retinal detachment and vision loss,” explains Dr. Agustin Martinez.

What are common symptoms of retinal tears?

Suffering from a retina tear is serious and often requires medical treatment to prevent vision loss. Common symptoms of retinal tears include:

  • Sudden onset of black spots or ‘floaters’ in your field of vision
  • Photopsia (flashes of light) in one or both eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually decreased peripheral (side) vision
  • A curtain-like shadow over your visual field

When should I see a doctor?

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, you are at an increased risk of developing retinal detachment. Retinal detachment can cause blindness and should be treated as a medical emergency. The skilled physicians at Austin Retina Associates urge you to seek immediate medical attention, particularly if you:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have a family or personal history of retinal detachment
  • Are extremely nearsighted

For excellent care and retinal tears treatment in central Texas, contact Austin Retina Associates at 800-252-8259 to schedule an appointment. We offer comprehensive capabilities few can match, the most advanced treatment and procedures, 24/7 doctor availability, and a highly experienced, knowledgeable and caring staff.


  1. I have had two retinal tears lasered in the UK at emergency eye department in the last month in fellow eyes: I only sought medical help because each time I saw a TRANSPARENT dark/greyish disc in my peripheral vision in both eyes. The first time the eye doctor didn’t find anything and the disc just vanished after a day but for the second disc in the other eye there was a tear and then the tear in the original eye was found a few weeks later. On all those occasions the doctors said that the discs I saw wouldn’t be anything to do with the tears and yet the first one went on its own as I mentioned and the second one went as once the laser was done. The first eye to have the disc in had a flap tear that broke off to make a small hole and the second one stayed as a flap. Both tears were in peripheral vision: one opposite the disc, so I am really thinking that I was seeing the flap of the tear there, and one 270° from the disc! Just don’t know what to make of these. They weren’t floaters as they were stationary. I got the tears due to ongoing PVD (three years so far).

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