What is a retinal tear?

Retinal Tears are localized areas of retinal injury resulting from traction on the retinal surface from the overlying vitreous gel usually associated with a posterior vitreous detachment or trauma. In the area of the tear, there is a defect in the retina such that the underlying pigment layer is directly exposed to the vitreous cavity. This opening can lead to detachment of the retina.

How are retinal tears treated?

All tears that are new or any tear associated with sudden new symptoms of flashes and or floaters require prompt treatment. The object of treatment for a retinal tear is to seal the edges of the tear to prevent fluid from passing through the tear and extending beneath the retina leading to detachment. The usual way such an adhesion is formed is by creating a circle of small scars around the tear with a laser. Sometimes if the view of the retina is so poor, i.e. from a dense cataract or from blood in the vitreous cavity, the adhesion is created by performing freezing treatment (called cryopexy) from the outside of the eye with a cryoprobe.