A tissue lining called the retina is located at the back of the eye. It is light sensitive and converts light to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending messages to the brain regarding the images we are interpreting. When the retina is intact and healthy, it can contribute to a clear vision.
However, there are times when the vitreous of the eyes may become problematic. The vitreous is a gel that fills the middle of the eye and it is attached to the retina. Floaters are caused by cells inside the vitreous. There are also times when patients will notice the shrinking of the vitreous as they age, which can cause lightning flashes and streaks in the field of vision.
When the vitreous pulls hard on the retina, it may result in a retinal tear and detachment. If this occurs, patients may notice the blurry vision. The condition may seem minor but it is very serious if the retina becomes detached, as this can lead to blindness only treatable with retina surgery.
Patients who are at a higher risk of retinal detachment and tears include those who have a family history of retinal problems and are extremely nearsighted. These have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing issues such as this. It is important that patients have regular eye examinations at The Orange County Eye Institute to check for potential problems and to discuss the family background of eye conditions.
With a proper diagnosis of retinal tears or detachment, patients can then discuss appropriate treatments with Dr. George Salib. An examination with an ophthalmologist is important in detecting tears and detachment early enough for proper intervention. They can be spotted in routine eye examinations.
Treatment will vary depending on the condition and its severity. If patients are experiencing the early stages of a torn retina, treatment may include laser surgery (also known as photocoagulation) or freezing treatment such as cryopexy. Detached retina procedures may require a vitrectomy, scleral buckle, or pneumatic retinopexy.
Dr. George Salib and the team of The Orange County Eye Institute recommend patients have regular eye examinations every year to detect problems such as retinal tears and detachment early enough to provide safe, effective treatment.