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Retinal Tears And Detachment

The Woodlands Retina Center

Wael Abdelghani, MD, FACS

Retina and Vitreous Specialist located in The Woodlands, TX

Retinal tears and detachments are serious conditions that can quickly lead to permanent vision loss. The good news is that over 90% of retinal detachments can be successfully treated when you get prompt medical attention. Dr. Wael Abdelghani at The Woodlands Retina Center specializes in surgical procedures that repair retinal conditions. Please don’t hesitate to call the office in The Woodlands, Texas, if you’re having problems with your vision.

Retinal Tears and Detachment Q & A

What causes a retinal tear or detachment?

A detached retina occurs when your retina tears away from its underlying tissues. Since it can’t continue to function after it’s separated, this condition requires quick treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.

There are three types of retinal detachment:

Traction retinal detachment

When scar tissue grows on the surface of your retina, it can pull the retina away from the underlying layer without causing a tear.

Exudative retinal detachment

Some eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, trigger abnormal blood vessel growth. These vessels are fragile and often leak blood or fluid that can build up under the retina, forcing it to detach.

Hegmatogenous retinal detachment

When your retina tears or develops a hole, vitreous, a clear, gel-like fluid in the middle of your eye can flow through the tear and settle under your retina. As the fluid builds up, it forces the retina away from the underlying layer. Posterior vitreous detachment causes this.

What is posterior vitreous detachment?

The space between the eye’s lens and retina is filled with vitreous, which helps transmit light and maintains the shape of your eye. Millions of fine fibers weave through the gel and attach to the retina.

As you get older, the vitreous slowly shrinks, which pulls on the fibers connected to the retina. Normally the fibers break and the vitreous separates from the retina. In some cases, however, pulling from the fibers cause retinal detachment or create a retinal tear that leads to detachment.

What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?

The primary symptoms are a sudden increase in the number of floaters and light flashes in your eye. You may also develop blurred vision or a shadow may appear like a curtain closing across your eye.

How are retinal tears and detachments treated?

Both a torn retina and a detached retina are surgically repaired. The type of procedure you get depends on your condition. Most procedures use laser surgery (heat) or cryotherapy (freezing) to seal the tear and reattach the retina to the back wall of your eye.

Everyone has floaters from time to time, but if you suddenly experience an increase in floaters or you see flashing lights, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Abdelghani. A detached retina always needs immediate attention.