A retinal tear or detachment is a very serious problem that can lead to blindness without surgical intervention. At Retina Specialists of Colorado, Dr. Ross Chod is a highly-trained vitreoretinal surgeon who has helped many of his patients in Aurora, Colorado, prevent vision loss through surgical repair of detached or torn retina. If you’d like to explore your surgical options, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.
To better understand how a retinal tear can develop, it’s helpful to take a look at what happens to your eyes as you age. Approximately 80% of your eye is made up of a gel-like substance called vitreous, which holds the shape of your eye. At the back of your eye is your retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue that receives refracted light rays and sends them through your optic nerve to your brain in order to create an image.
As you age, your vitreous, which is attached to your retina, shrinks and begins to pull away from your retina.
This process is completely natural, and in most cases, your shrinking vitreous doesn’t cause any problems. If, however, it pulls away and creates a tear in your retina, fluids can get through and wreak havoc on your vision.
A retinal detachment develops on the heels of a retinal tear. As fluid enters through the tear, it can fill the area and lift your retina off of the back of your eye, creating a retinal detachment. Your retina only works when it’s attached, so a detachment leaves you with blurry vision that only becomes worse.
The most common signs of a retinal tear or detachment are:
If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Chod performs a retinal examination to get to the bottom of the problem.
When it comes to a retinal tear or detachment, surgery is almost always the best course of action to preserve your eyesight. After diagnosing your condition, Dr. Chod may recommend one of several procedures, including:
For retinal tears, Dr. Chod may use laser surgery (photocoagulation) to reattach your retina around the tear, or he may use a freezing technique to create scar tissue that helps anchor your retina.
In cases of detachment, you need surgery right away. To correct the detachment, Dr. Chod may turn to a pneumatic retinopexy, where he injects a bubble of air and gas into your eye to push your retina back. He may also perform a vitrectomy, where he removes your vitreous and then injects air or gas to fill the space to reposition your retina. The cavity eventually refills with fluid as the gas is absorbed. Finally, Dr. Chod may tackle the problem from the outside and sew a piece of silicone to the surface of your eye to prevent your vitreous from pulling at your retina.
For surgical repair of a torn or detached retina, call Retina Specialists of Colorado or use the online booking tool.