Retinal Tears & Detachment

Your retina is the light-sensitive tissue on the back, inner surface of your eye. We achieve vision via light entering our eyes that is then focused to the retina that then sends visual messages to the brain through the optic nerve.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the pigmented cell layer that provides its nourishment. The condition often starts as a retinal tear and may then progress to a complete detachment. The detachment can also occur all at once. A detachment can occur due to:

  • Vitreous gel inside the eye, shrinking and contracting, that leads to pulling on the retina
  • Fluid getting underneath as a result of retinal tears
  • Trauma or injury to the eye that causes fluid to collect under the retina
  • Scar tissue contracting on the retina

Symptoms of a Retinal Detachment

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact our office at (601) 264-3937 immediately. A retinal detachment should be considered a medical emergency because it will impact vision and can ultimately lead to blindness in the affected eye if it is left untreated.

  • Specks or “floaters” in your vision that look like cobwebs
  • Flashes in your peripheral eyesight
  • Wavy vision
  • A dark shadow over a portion of your vision (like a curtain)
  • Loss of vision

Treatment for Retinal Detachment

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or if your family eye doctor has told you that you have a retinal tear or detachment, scheduling a comprehensive, dilated eye examination with Dr. Jiménez is your best first step towards ensuring that you receive the best possible treatment in a timely manner. Retinal detachments are typically repaired by:

  • Vitrectomy: the vitreous gel in the eye is removed and replaced with a gas bubble to reduce retinal pulling and aid the healing and reattachment of the tissue that previously detached
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous gel to push the tear back into proper position on the retinal wall
  • Scleral buckle: a flexible silicone band is placed around the eye to relieve pressure caused by the shrinking and contracting of the vitreous gel and to help ensure that the retinal tissue remains in its proper place
  • Retina laser surgery: the retina is connected and sealed in its proper position via laser
  • Cryopexy: an extreme cold therapy is used to create scar tissue that is designed to help seal the tear and prevent further damage or a complete detachment

Risk Factors for Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachments occur more commonly in people who have:

  • Previously experienced a retinal detachment
  • Suffered from an eye injury
  • Had cataract surgery
  • Severe nearsightedness
  • Family members who have had retinal detachment
  • Other eye conditions

Retinal detachments more frequently occur in males and Caucasian people and people of Asian ancestry as compared with females and people of African-American descent. This condition is also more prevalent in adults over age 40. However, anyone may experience a retinal detachment at any time.

Any sudden vision changes may be a cause for concern. If you are experiencing any vision changes, no matter how minor, call our office today at (601) 264-3937 to schedule an eye examination. Be sure to explain the nature of the change in your vision that you are experiencing and the length of time that the changes have been present.