Retinal Tears and Detachment in Napa, CA

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What Are Retinal Tears and Detachment?

Tears or detachments in the retina typically occur when the vitreous gel in the eye starts to shrink and degenerate as we age. This can also be brought on by eye trauma or surgery. The vitreous gel adheres to the retina and tugs on it, causing a tear and, if left untreated, could lead to a detachment. Additionally, retinal detachment can occur in diabetic patients that have damaged blood vessels in the back of the eye. These retinal tears and detachments are painless, so we encourage you to make an appointment at Eye Specialists of Napa Valley if you notice new floaters, flashes, or see “curtains” covering part of your vision. Our board-certified ophthalmologists in Napa, CA, will listen to your concerns and examine your eyes thoroughly and provide optimal treatment for retinal detachment.

What Are the Symptoms of a Retinal Tears and Detachment?

Retina tears are small rips in the retinal tissue, while retinal detachments are a complete lack of attachment of the retinal tissues in the back of the eye. The symptoms of a torn retina and symptoms of retinal detachment are the same and may include the following:

  • Dark spots in the field of vision
  • Peripheral vision loss
  • Blurry vision
  • Sudden appearance of floaters
  • Frequent flashes of light

Although the symptoms are the same for both conditions, retinal detachments are a more severe optical problem that can result in vision loss the longer it goes without treatment. If you notice any changes in your vision, it's important to schedule an appointment to have your vision checked. Contact our eye specialists in Napa, CA, for more information about treatment for retinal tears and detachments.

What Causes Retinal Tears and Detachment?

Many patients do not realize they have a retinal tear or detachment until their vision becomes impacted. Catching a retinal tear or detachment early is essential to receiving the proper laser surgery to prevent the long-term effects of retinal detachment. Certain conditions and factors can increase an individual's risk of their retina detaching or tearing from the eye, such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Nearsightedness
  • Severe injury
  • Family history of retinal detachment
  • A previous cataract surgery

How Are Retinal Tear and Detachment Diagnosed?

Individuals experiencing symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment will likely be recommended for a dilated eye exam to confirm their diagnosis. During this exam, your ophthalmologist will administer eye drops to dilate your pupil to assess the retina. A dilated eye exam is typically painless, but some patients may experience light discomfort when their eyelids are gently pressed to check for retinal tears. An ultrasound or optical coherence tomography (OCT) may be used to scan the eye if your ophthalmologist needs to assess the exact position of the retina.

What Can I Expect from Retinal Tear or Detachment Treatment?

If you notice increased flashes, floaters, hazy vision, or issues with your peripheral sight, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Eye Specialists of Napa Valley as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage. Early detection of a torn retina is vital in preventing the retina from detaching. If you have a retinal tear, we offer laser treatments to create a barrier around the tear and prevent fluid from entering and pulling off more of the retina. This procedure decreases the risk of further detachment significantly. During this procedure, we will numb your eye with an anesthetic eye drop. We will then use the laser to create a barrier around the tear. The light from the laser will seal the area around the tear and stop fluid from traveling underneath your retina. After this relatively quick procedure in Napa, CA, you may have some mild discomfort in your eye, and you may experience temporary blurred vision.

Retinal tears and detachment FAQ

Does a retinal detachment hurt? 
The retinal detachment itself is painless. The warning signs will most likely occur before it happens or has advanced.

Can you still see with a detached retina? 
If you only have a small part of the retina detached, you may not notice any signs. While you may see floaters and squiggly lines in your field of vision, you will still be able to see with a torn retina.

When should you seek treatment for a detached retina?
As soon as you start to notice changes in your vision, it is important to schedule an appointment with the eye specialists in Napa, CA. The sooner you receive treatment, the easier the healing process will be.

Treat Your Retinal Tear or Detachment

If you have started to notice signs of a retinal tear, including flashes and floaters or a problematic peripheral view, Eye Specialists of Napa Valley may be able to prevent future damage with laser treatment. Our board-certified Napa, CA ophthalmologists can examine your eyes to check for tears or detachment and work with you to manage them to prevent vision loss. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Napa, CA ophthalmology office today.

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