General Eye Care

Retinal Detachment & Retinal Tears

Retinal detachments are caused by a tear or hole in the retina. Eye fluids may leak through, causing the retina to seperate from the underlying tissues, much like a bubble under wallpaper. This is most often caused by a condition called posterior vitreous detachment. However, it may also be caused by acute trauma or severe nearsightedness. A family history of retinal detachment also increases your risk.

Another type of retinal detachment is called tractional detachment. This is seen in people who have uncontrolled diabetes, previous retinal surgery, or have chronic inflammation. If you have any of these risk factors or have recently been involved in a high-impact trauma situation, we encourage you to contact the eye doctors at Advanced Vision Institute for a thorough retinal examination.

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Treatment for Retinal Detachment and Retinal Tears

Most people with a retinal detachment will need surgery. Surgery may be done immediately or after a short period of time depending on the cause of the detachment. Depending on the type of surgery required, it may involve the following:

  • Lasers may be used to seal tears or holes in the retina before a retinal detachment actually occurs.
  • If you have a small retinal detachment, the doctor may place a gas bubble in the eye. This is called pneumatic retinopexy. It helps help the retina float back into place. The hole is then cauterized with a laser.
  • A Scleral buckle may be used to gently push the eye wall up against the retina.
  • A Vitrectomy may be required to remove gel or scar tissue pulling on the retina, as is often the case in the largest tears and detachments.
  • Tractional retinal detachments may be monitored by your eye doctor for a while before surgery. If surgery is needed, a vitrectomy is usually performed.