What are the Symptoms of Retinal Tears?

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.

What Are the Best Treatments for Retinal Tears?

How important is your retina? As the key to clear vision, the retina is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Through the cornea, pupil and lens, we focus light rays onto the retina. The retina converts those light rays into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to our brain, where they are translated into our vision.

When a retinal tear occurs, you may see new floaters (small dots, specks or strings or clouds moving in your field of vision) or flashes of light. If a retinal tear is left untreated, it can progress to a retinal detachment, which can appear like a dark curtain moving toward your central vision. A retinal detachment is a very serious medical condition that almost always causes blindness unless it is treated. That’s why we provide advanced diagnosis and 24/7 treatment of retinal tears in Austin.

Treatment for retinal tears

At Austin Retina Associates, we begin by thoroughly assessing your retinal condition. Then we will recommend a procedure (or may discuss several treatment options) with you.

“Most retinal tears are treated during in-office procedures,” says Dr. Peter Nixon, “However, if a retinal tear progresses to a retinal detachment, surgery is almost always required at a local surgery center or hospital under either local or general anesthesia. Most patients go home the same day.”

Treatment options for retinal tears include:

  • Laser surgery (photocoagulation) – During this procedure, a laser is used to make small burns around the retinal tear. The scarring that results seals the retina to the underlying tissue, helping to prevent a retinal detachment.
  • Freezing treatment (cryopexy) – A special freezing probe is applied to the sclera (white part of the eye); freezing the retina around the retinal tear. The result is a scar that helps secure the retina to the eye wall.

Innovative treatments for retinal tears, from some of the best in Texas

At Austin Retina Associates, protecting your vision has been our mission for more than 30 years. Since 1978, we have led the way in specialized retinal care, using leading-edge technologies to preserve and protect the vision of millions of Central Texans. From retinal tears to macular degeneration to treating and managing diabetic eye disease, you and your family can count on our unfailing dedication to your healthy vision. If you think you may have a retinal tear, please call us immediately at 800-252-8259 and relay your symptoms to us.

To schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified retina specialists, call 800-252-8259 or use our online form for non-urgent symptoms to request your appointment today.