Retinal Tear

Connecticut Retina Consultants

Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists located in New Haven, CT & Fairfield County, CT

A retinal tear is a serious, potentially blinding condition. At Connecticut Retina Consultants, with locations in New Haven, Hamden, Madison, Trumbull, and Fairfield, Connecticut, the expert ophthalmologists do the best they can to heal a retinal tear before it causes serious vision loss. Call the most convenient location if you suspect a retinal tear for immediate treatment.

Retinal Tear Q & A

What is a retinal tear?

The retina is a layer of nerve tissue lining the inside of your eye. It contains the light-sensitive cells that translate light into images for your brain — it’s basically the center of your vision.

A retinal tear can lead to detachment of the retina.

What are the symptoms of a retinal tear?

Common symptoms of a retinal tear include flashes of light in the eye and floaters. Usually, these come on rather suddenly — and it may look as if someone is shaking pepper in your vision. Sometimes, the tear is associated with bleeding into the eye and vision loss if the blood fills the eye.

In some cases, though, a tear may not bring noticeable symptoms. 

What causes a retinal tear?

The vitreous, a clear gel-like substance that fills in the back cavity of the eye, is lined by the retina. In your youth, this gel is attached to the retina but as you get older, the gel separates naturally due to shrinkage. Usually, this causes no notable symptoms or issues.

Some men and women have a more “sticky” vitreous that pulls abnormally and causes the retina to tear. Retinal tears can also occur due to trauma.

Risk factors for a retinal tear include:

  • Advanced age
  • Severe myopia
  • Thinning patches of the retina
  • Family history of retinal tears or detachment
  • Prior eye surgery

Even if you’re at greater risk, there’s no way to predict whether you’ll actually develop a tear or when it might occur.

How are retinal tears treated?

If you have a new tear that causes sudden symptoms of flashes or floaters, it requires prompt treatment. The doctors at Connecticut Retina Consultants seal the edges of the tear to prevent fluid from passing through and detaching the retina. Usually, this sealing is done with a laser but in severe cases, a freezing therapy, known as cryopexy, is used.

What is a retinal hole?

A retinal hole can cause blurred vision and progress to serious vision loss if not treated. When a small gap in the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye develops, fluid can gather and cause the retina to detach. The condition is different from a tear but has much the same symptoms and effects. 

If you’re worried about damage to your retina, call Connecticut Retina Consultants at one of their five locations for immediate care.