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How Eye Doctors Diagnose and Treat Retinal Tears

Author: Shirley Balerio
by Shirley Balerio
Posted: Feb 14, 2020

Often times, we are eye-struck and in awe by things that are happening around us—be it good or bad. It leaves us with dropped jaws as to what, how, or why something has just happened. There may be times when we would like an explanation about something, and there may also be times when we just leave things as they are. Although it’s true that not everything deserves an explanation, we also want to understand the things that are happening around us. But, instead of problems unfolding before our eyes, what if they occur right inside our eyes? You may be wondering what it means, but that really is something we all should know about. It can happen to anyone whether they like it or not. We’ll walk through it in a second.

Within the retina, it is filled with a fluid called vitreous gel. As time passes and as we age, the vitreous gel pulls away from the retina which usually happens without any problem. However, there may be cases where the vitreous gel of some people is firmly attached to the retina that it tears the retina as it pulls away from it. Once the retina is torn, there is a high risk of retinal detachment which can eventually lead to loss of vision. Depending on the case, scleral depression or dilated eye examination may be performed by the eye doctor. This will enable them to see the condition of the retina and determine the severity of the case and will also help them prescribe what type of treatment will work best. Some of these treatments are listed below:

Vitrectomy – This is probably one of the most common eye surgeries being done around the world today. Its purpose is to remove and/or replace the vitreous humor inside the eyes. It involves making an incision in the eyes, which will then serve as a way for the doctor to drain the vitreous humor inside the eyes.

Scleral Buckle Surgery – As the name itself suggests, it is done with the use of a buckle that’s being attached to the sclera (white part of the eye) which will eventually result in the torn retina to close.

Laser Photocoagulation – With the help of laser, the retinal tear is burnt, including the area around it which aims to create a scar that will stop the vitreous humor from leaking.

Pneumatic Retinopexy – From the word "pneuma," air will be used by the doctor to force the reattachment of tears in the retina. The air is put in the eye in a way that it will force the retina back to its proper place.

Cryotherapy – Very similar to the laser surgery, this also will create a scar targeting the torn retina and the surrounding tissues, but with the use of cold. This will also aid in preventing further leakages and restoring the retina to its normal position.

Treatment is usually done only in the doctor’s clinic which proved effective in almost every case with the use of topical anesthesia. Whatever the method, the aim of the treatment is to be able to reattach the retina if possible, or at the very least, minimize retinal damage. Whatever the case, the words "prevention is better than cure" will always ring true to those who don’t want to experience any of this.

About the Author

Teacher-turned online blogger, Shirley is a full-time backyard homesteader based in Virginia. When she doesn't have her face buried in a book or striding in her garden, she's busy blogging about simple life hacks of the daily life.

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Author: Shirley Balerio
Premium Member

Shirley Balerio

United States

Member since: May 02, 2017
Published articles: 52

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