Retinal Tears & Detachments
A retinal detachment occurs when all layers of the retina separate from the wall of the eye. Retinal detachments typically start as retinal tears, which occur when small breaks open in the retina. Left untreated, a retinal detachment will lead to blindness in the eye.
Signs of Retinal Tears & Detachments
The most commonly reported signs of a torn or detached retina include:
- The sudden appearance of several new floaters
- Black spots or flecks in your field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Darkened vision
- Worsening peripheral vision
- Sudden flashes of light
These symptoms typically intensify right before the retina becomes completely detached. With a full retinal detachment, patients often experience a sudden, painless loss of vision in the affected eye.
Retinal Tear & Detachment Treatment
There are three surgical options for the treatment of retinal detachment.
- Pneumatic retinopexy: The first option is an in-office procedure called a pneumatic retinopexy, where a freezing treatment is applied to the causative retinal tear and a gas bubble is placed into the eye. However, it is only possible to use this technique in select cases based on the characteristics of the detachment.
- Scleral buckle: The second option is a surgical procedure known as a scleral buckle. This is performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. A silicone band is placed around the eye, under the skin of the eye in combination with a freezing treatment. A gas bubble is often placed in the eye as well.
- Vitrectomy: The third option is a vitrectomy. This takes place in the operating room with anesthesia. The vitreous, or jelly, is removed and the retina is put back in place. Laser is often performed. A gas bubble or oil bubble is then placed in the vitreous space.
In some cases, a scleral buckle and a vitrectomy are combined in one surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
The retina specialists of North Carolina Retina Associates have extensive experience diagnosing, managing, and treating retinal tears and detachments. Visit us today for comprehensive retinal care.