Retinal Detachment & Tears

The eye doctors and Houston retina specialists at The Eye Clinic of Texas diagnose and treat retinal detachment, retinal tears and torn retina problems. Retinal detachments and tears are serious eye problems that need to be diagnosed and treated quickly in order to preserve eye health and vision. The appearance of flashing lights, floating objects, or a gray curtain moving across the field of vision are all indications of a retinal detachment. If any of these occur, see your ophthalmologist right away. As one gets older, the vitreous-the clear, gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye-tends to shrink slightly and take on a more watery consistency. Sometimes as the vitreous shrinks, it exerts enough force on the retina to make it tear.

Retinal tears can lead to a retinal detachment. Fluid vitreous, passing through the tear, lifts the retina off the back of the eye like wallpaper peeling off a wall. Laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing) is often used to seal the retinal tears and prevent detachment.

If the retina is detached, it must be reattached before sealing the retinal tear. There are three ways to repair retinal detachments. Pneumatic retinopexy involves injecting a special gas bubble into the eye that pushes on the retina to seal the tear. The scleral buckle procedure requires the fluid to be drained from under the retina before a flexible piece of silicone is sewn on the outer eye wall to give support to the tear while it heals. Vitrectomy surgery removes the vitreous gel from the eye, replacing it with a gas bubble, which is slowly replaced by the body’s fluids.

If you experience light flashes, a distortion or “bubble” in your vision or a decrease in your side vision, it could be a retinal detachment, which is a sight threatening medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms you should call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 and tell the receptionist or doctor on call that you need an appointment immediately.