65-year-old Mrs Banerjee suddenly started seeing flashing lights and her peripheral vision was getting blurry. She could sense that something was not right.
She never experienced such sudden changes in her vision. Without wasting any time, she rushed to an eye hospital in Siliguri. The eye doctor she consulted was glad that she didn’t wait too long and came immediately for consultation. He found that she had a torn Retina.
Torn Retina It is a serious condition that can lead to Retinal detachment. If not treated immediately, it can even lead to impaired vision. A Retina can tear just like a piece of cloth. To prevent the condition from progressing to retinal detachment, the eye surgeon at the eye hospital performed minor surgery with a laser and the problem was effectively fixed. But unlike Mrs Banerjee many people often ignore sudden vision changes. Knowing about a torn retina and its symptoms can help you seek treatment at the earliest and avoid further vision problems.
How does the Retina tear?
As you get older, the Vitreous, a gel-like substance in the eyes starts to shrink. In healthy eyes, the Vitreous moves freely without any problems. Sometimes, this substance sticks to the Retina. It may pull the retina hard enough to cause a tear or a hole. As the Retina is very thin, a tear can cause serious damage. When the retina tears, the fluid present in the eye leaks through the hole – as a result you see see flashes or floaters. If this torn portion is not fixed, it can cause the whole retina to detach or peel off. Sometimes a torn retina is also linked to bleeding in the eye which can cause loss of vision if the blood fills the eye. This can lead to permanent loss of vision and, thus, any sudden appearance of floaters or flashes should not be ignored.
Who is at risk?
You’re more likely to have a torn retina as you get older or if you have the following things:
- Severe nearsightedness
- An eye injury or complicated cataract or glaucoma surgery
- A family history of retinal detachment
- Posterior vitreous detachment
- Having a retinal tear or detachment in the other eye
- Diabetic patients are more susceptible to the condition than those who don’t have diabetes.
- Flashing lights like you are seeing stars in the day
- New floaters
- Poor peripheral vision
- You may feel that a curtain is there in your field of vision
- Laser surgery is one of the common methods of treating the retinal tear : An eye surgeon will use a laser to seal the tear. It is an outpatient procedure done in less than 15 minutes. Using a laser, he will make burns to form scars. These scars seal the retina back to its place.
- Cryopexy: In this procedure, extreme cold therapy is used to seal the retina. This procedure prevents the fluid from entering the eye and detaching the retina. The procedure won’t take more than 30 minutes.
See a doctor
If you are seeing new floaters, flashing lights, or experiencing sudden changes in your vision, rush to an eye hospital at the earliest. By getting your eyes regularly checked, you can get the issue identified in the early stages. Early treatment can prevent a torn Retina to further cause any problems. Get your eyes checked once a year, or more often if you have conditions like diabetes or severe nearsightedness.