Retinal Tears

Retinal Tear Diagram

Retinal tears are common, but they should be treated quickly to avoid vision loss. 

What is a Retinal Tear?

Your retina is made up of photosensitive cells that communicate with your brain, thus allowing you to see. It's quite thin and sometimes tears are part of the aging process. A tear will allow fluid to enter the inside of the eye, leading to a retinal detachment. That's why It's vital to have the problem addressed quickly.

Why do Retinal Tears Happen?

The eye is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that breaks down and becomes more watery as we age. In people older than 60 years of age, this process often causes the vitreous to separate from the back of the eye. When this occurs, you are at risk of developing a retinal tear. Some people are at higher risk for retinal tears, including those with:

  • Nearsightedness,
  • Retinal thinning,
  • Previous cataract surgery,
  • A history of eye trauma,
  • A family history of retinal tears,
  • Retinal tears in the other eye.

Symptoms of a Retinal Tear

Symptoms of retinal tears include flashes of light in the eye and seeing floaters in your eye. Retinal tears can also cause bleeding into the eye, which causes multiple floaters and vision loss.

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