Retinal Tear

A retinal tear is caused by the vitreous pulling on the peripheral retina. It can cause a retinal detachment.

What is a retinal tear?

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. The vitreous inside the eye (see image) can pull on the retina and cause a tear. Retinal tears occur in about 2 percent of eyes at the time of a posterior vitreous detachment. Once there is a tear, fluid can travel from inside the eye to under the retina. The risk of retinal detachment in an eye with a fresh retinal tear is about 70 percent. Treatment can reduce the risk of a tear progressing to a retinal detachment to about one percent. Ten percent of eyes with a retinal tear develop subsequent retinal tears, most within the first 2 months of onset of the symptoms.

What are Symptoms of a retinal tear?

Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. At least half the time when the retina tears, a blood vessel in the retina is broken. When that occurs, blood is released into the vitreous which looks like hundreds of tiny pepper spots. You can see a little blood next to the retinal tear in the accompanying image. The spots might look black or red. Retinal tears occur in the far periphery of the retina. Unless there is also a retinal detachment, the change in vision from a retinal tear is not noticeable. If someone sees a shadow and loss of side vision, that means the retinal tear has progressed to a retinal detachment.

What is Laser Surgery?

A retinal tear can be treated with laser surgery or cryotherapy. Both accomplish the same goal:creating an adhesion around the tear to prevent a retinal detachment. The accompanying image shows fresh laser spots surrounding a retinal tear. Both treatments are safe with a very small risk of complications. Both laser and cryotherapy do not immediately create an adhesion. The adhesion is fairly good at one week and very good at four weeks. So it is important to ease into jarring activity following treatment for a retinal tear. Anything that creates excessive movement of the eye can be dangerous until the adhesion is formed. Reading, because of the back and forth movement of the eyes, is usually discouraged for a time following treatment of a retinal tear. About 10 percent of people who have had a retinal tear develop a subsequent retinal tear. Therefore if new and different symptoms occur following treatment it is important to notify your physician.

What about asymptomatic retinal holes?

Small asymptomatic retinal holes are not uncommon and usually do not need to be treated. Some surveys suggest that retinal holes are common and may exist in up to 8 percent of all eyes. The reason that retinal holes rarely cause retinal detachments is that they are not under traction. There are several forces that keep your retina attached. There is a suction force exerted by the retinal pigment epithelium. In addition, the retinal cells interdigitate with the underlying retinal pigment epithelial cells holding the retina in place like Velcro. To create a retinal detachment, a sufficient tractional force has to pull the retina out of position to allow fluid to traverse a retinal hole and enter the subretinal space and cause a retinal detachment. The absence of traction around a retinal hole seems to prevent retinal holes from progressing to retinal detachments.

Retinal Tear NEWS

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Herald & Review

Dear Dr. Roach: Options for prostate surgery and sexual function
Herald & Review
The second is that the drug can affect the retina. This can cause permanent vision loss, so while it is very worrisome, it fortunately is not common. Only about 2 percent of people will develop early changes of this condition in the first 10 years on ...

Albuquerque Journal

Floaters in eyes a common annoyance
Albuquerque Journal
However, there are risks, including bleeding and retinal tears, and the surgery may not remove all of the floaters. Another treatment used infrequently for impaired vision caused by eye floaters is laser therapy. This treatment uses a laser to break up ...

Peace of mind
Bernice Adcock, from Spalding, had floating spots in her vision and previously experienced small retinal tears and wanted peace of mind before travelling abroad. She booked an eye exam and explained to optometrist, Andy Molsom, that her symptoms had ...

Spark Therapeutics Presents Three Post-hoc Analyses from Phase 3 Clinical Trial of LUXTURNA® (voretigene ...
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Monitor and manage these retinal abnormalities appropriately. Do not administer LUXTURNA in the immediate vicinity of the fovea. Retinal abnormalities may occur during or following vitrectomy, including retinal tears, epiretinal membrane, or retinal ...

and more »

AAO 2018: Non-contact Panretinal Photocoagulation for Navilas® 577s Introduced by OD-OS
PR Newswire (press release)
This addition makes Navilas® the only retinal laser which allows for navigated focal and peripheral treatments (single spots and pattern) without a contact lens. The system supports digital pre-planning and computer-assisted delivery of laser spots ...

The Dominion Post

I'm seeing floaters — should I be worried?
The Dominion Post
The key word is “most” — because we see a handful of patients each year with nothing more than “floaters” as a symptom, and yet have a retinal detachment. I believe that if the retina is truly tearing or detaching (which can lead to permanent loss of ...

Vision problems a common concern in older pets: Pet Connection
Other age-related vision problems, such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, better known as dry eye, require aggressive treatment. Tears, which are produced by the lacrimal glands, lubricate, protect and cleanse the eye. Tear production tends to decrease ...

Zap! Laser Repair Of Your Torn Retina: An Interview With Royce Chen, MD
American Council on Science and Health
RC: Most retinal tears occur spontaneously and are associated with traction from the vitreous humor upon the retina. The next question is, “what is the vitreous?” And the answer is that the vitreous is a clear gel composed mostly of water, but also of ...

Why I decided to have laser eye surgery to correct my eyesight — and how the surgery actually works for patients
The Sun
Mr Allamby said: "When it comes to Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), there are increased risks for younger middle-aged patients. “The main ones are retinal detachment and retinal tear, particularly for short-sighted patients. “In patients aged 65 plus ...

Ophthalmic trauma services launched
The Hindu (press release)
This included retinal tear and detachment. Hence, close follow-up is needed,” Dr. Rajan said. With Deepavali round the corner, he said there were many injuries caused by crackers too. He reiterated the importance of treating ophthalmic trauma as an ...

Rajan Eye Care launches trauma ward ahead of Deepavali
News Today
If the injury is not treated immediately, it manifests later into a serious way which could be retinal tear and detachment.” “It is necessary to admit the patient within an hour which is called as the golden hour,” he said. Mohan Rajan emphasised on ...

Myopia is risk factor for multiple tears during evolution of PVD
Multiple retinal tears occurring during the evolution of posterior vitreous detachment are more frequently observed in myopic patients, are symptomatic and are correlated with increased rate of retinal detachment, according to a study. Previous retinal ...

Boy sustains serious eye injuries in 'anar' mishap
Times of India
The child, however, needs regular and long-term follow-ups, as the injuries have made him vulnerable to forming cataract, glaucoma or retinal detachment, apart from the risk of eye infections. ... He had a corneal tear and hyphema (blood in the eye).

Retinal detachment and tears: the correct procedure to ensure early diagnosis and treatment
A retinal detachment associated with a retinal tear is a serious ophthalmic condition. It is often a medical emergency and, if not treated quickly (or correctly), can lead to permanent visual loss or even complete blindness. What is the retina? The ...

New York Times

Learning to Attack the Cyberattackers Can't Happen Fast Enough
New York Times
He had just come upon an image of police officers wearing helmets and gas masks and rioters covering their mouths and noses with bandannas — all trying to shield themselves from the tear-gas- and smoke-filled air. Professor Savvides was delighted. It ...

The Pharmaceutical Journal

How to prevent common eye problems
The Pharmaceutical Journal
A case–control study in ten patients following ethanol ingestion demonstrated that ethanol was detected in the person's tears and was associated with a decreased tear break-up time (through ethanol acting as a solvent), increasing tear osmolarity and ...

Michigan Medicine (blog)

Chiropractic Treatment and Vision Loss: Examining the Connection
Michigan Medicine (blog)
Complications from PVD are rare but can be serious and in some cases require urgent treatment such as laser treatment to seal the retinal tear or surgery for a retinal detachment. Although the connection to chiropractic care is considered a temporal ...

Dove Medical Press

Scleral buckling in the management of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment: patient selection and perspectives
Dove Medical Press
RRD is usually associated with PVD, typically presenting with a retinal tear, strong vitreoretinal traction, and bullous detachment. In contrast, RRD may develop without PVD, and typically presents with a small atrophic hole, shallow detachment, and ...

Risk factors for retinal breaks during macular hole surgery
Dove Medical Press
Six eyes with a pre-existing retinal tear treated by laser photocoagulation before MH surgery were excluded. Data on sex, age, presence or absence of lattice degeneration, axial length (measured using an IOL Master®), preoperative refraction, whether ...

Can chiropractic care disrupt vision?
Medical Xpress
Complications from PVD are rare but can be serious and in some cases require urgent treatment such as laser treatment to seal the retinal tear or surgery for a retinal detachment. Although the connection to chiropractic care is considered a temporal ...

and more »

Seattle Times

Five symptoms that might mean you should head to an eye doctor
Seattle Times
“The problem is a lot of times when people see something but don't feel anything, they put off going to the doctor, but if it is a retinal tear or detachment and you wait too long and it turns into a full detachment, that will be way more serious and ...


8 Signs You're Way Overdue for an Eye Exam
This condition happens when you don't produce sufficient tears, according to the National Eye Institute(NEI). As its name implies, dry eye can make your eyes feel super parched. It can also cause symptoms like scratchiness, burning, stinging, redness, ...

PVD patients seeking care on first day of symptoms have higher rate of retinal tears
Patients with posterior vitreous detachment who seek care on the first day of their symptoms have a statistically significant higher risk for retinal tears. Researchers retrospectively analyzed medical records of 365 patients with posterior vitreous ...

Risk Factors for Retinal Redetachment After Silicone Oil Removal: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
From the Department of Ophthalmology, Sichuan University West China Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (YH, SZ, JZ); and the Department of Oncology, Sichuan University West China Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan, China (YZ). The authors report no ...

Player compensation lawsuit vs. NCAA could usher in new round of conference realignment
Tearing apart conferences for the purpose of increased revenue began in earnest 15 years ago. That's when the ACC ... "One of my favorite stories about the ways they spend money is the Louisville facility has retinal scanners," Berri said. "You know ...

Business Mirror

Keeping hackers, bots at bay
Business Mirror
PITTSBURGH—In a technology lab full of graduate students huddled over laptops, Marios Savvides flipped through photos on a computer screen searching for one full of people whose faces were barely recognizable to the human eye. “How about a riot?

Bengaluru: Hospitals gear up to treat Diwali injuries
Deccan Chronicle
The eye injuries usually range from lid laceration, tear corneal abrasion, corneal perforation, vitreous haemorhage, retinal detachment and globe perforation which can cause permanent blindness, says Dr. Ravi, regional head and medical services ...

and more »


6 things your eye doctor wishes you would stop doing
These include glaucoma, retinal tears, retinal tumors, uveitis, and others. The risk of not having an eye exam is too high. Also, the eyes should be dilated for these eye exams. Photography is an effective tool, but does not replace the need for ...

University of Miami

Gas in the eye
University of Miami
But in other cases, a PVD can cause retinal tears. “And that's exactly what happened to me,” said Happell. His ophthalmologist repaired the damage that same day, sealing the retinal tear with a laser and using a gas bubble of SF6 to reattach his retina.

Saga Magazine News

My health story: detached retina
Saga Magazine News
Three types of retinal detachment. 1. A tear or break in the sensory layer, which allows fluid to seep underneath, causing the layers of the retina to separate. This is the most common type, which David had. 2. Strands of vitreous or scar tissue create ...

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