Retinal tears are quite common and may not cause any symptoms before resolving on their own. However, they can lead to a much more serious complication called retinal detachment. Ophthalmologist Neel Lamba, MD, repairs retinal tears and treats retinal detachment with surgery at his private practice in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. If you notice an increase in floaters or flashes, or a decline in your vision, request an appointment by phone with Neel Lamba, MD, today.
Retinal tears are small rips that form in your retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye that allows you to see. From birth, your retina is attached to the vitreous gel within your eye. Eventually, it detaches. However, if your vitreous gel is particularly sticky, it can tug on the retina and cause retinal tears. They can also happen because of trauma to the eye.
Retinal tears can cause blood or fluid leakage into your vitreous gel. In turn, you might see floaters more often than before in your field of vision. Floaters are shadows cast by clumps of cells within the vitreous gel. The fluid or blood leakage can also cause a decline in your vision.
Retinal detachment is a possible consequence of retinal tears. A retinal detachment requires emergency care immediately. It happens when your retina pulls away from the blood vessels that nourish it.
It’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of retinal detachment so you can get help right away. After a retinal detachment, you might notice:
Because a retinal detachment doesn’t cause pain, the symptoms might not make it seem like an emergency. Still, it’s important to call Dr. Lamba’s office right away if you experience these symptoms because you can lose your vision permanently without quick treatment.
A retinal detachment doesn’t always happen as the result of retinal tears. It can occur because of fluid buildup below the retina, nearby tumors, scar tissue, or inflammation in the region.
Dr. Lamba provides the newest available treatments to preserve your clear vision after a retinal tear or retinal detachment. Retinal tears are treatable with nonsurgical measures, but sometimes they don’t require treatment at all. Before your treatment, Dr. Lamba offers you local or topical anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
To repair a retinal tear, Dr. Lamba might recommend either cryotherapy or laser therapy. Laser therapy involves using a powerful single-wavelength laser light to create scar tissue to seal the tear. Cryotherapy seals the tear using a cold probe. Both treatments can help prevent retinal detachment, though Dr. Lamba will need to monitor you for future tears.
Dr. Lamba repairs retinal detachment with surgery. One surgical technique, called a scleral buckle, involves placing a piece of silicone material around the white of your eye to indent its surface. This relieves some of the pressure off your retina from the vitreous gel.
During another surgery, called a vitrectomy, Dr. Lamba removes the vitreous gel in its entirety before reattaching the retina with the help of air, gas, or silicone oil. Soon, your eye naturally refills with fluid.
To find out more about retinal tears and detachment, or to explore available treatments, call Neel Lamba, MD.