Before you understand what a retinal tear is and how it can cause vision loss, it is first important to understand how important and vital the retina is to your sense of sight. Indeed, your retina is a thin layer of tissue located on the eye – it is almost like a piece of film. In fact, it is so much like a piece of film that you could compare it to the film that you would use in a camera. Basically, light passes through the retina and is processed by the optic nerve to create an image. Over time, though, the fluids in our eyes that keeps the retina lubricated become liquid-like, which can cause the retina to jerk around and tear – otherwise known as retinal detachment. Here is how to prevent vision loss from retinal tears.
- Find out if there is a history of retinal tearing in your family. One of the best ways to prevent vision loss from retinal tearing is to find out if there is a risk factor for the condition in your family. If there is, you want to be more aware of the dangers.
- Know the symptoms of retinal tearing and detachment. On top of finding out if you have retinal tearing in your family, you want to be sure that you remain aware of any of the symptoms of detachment. For instance, you may have small floaters in your eyes – either in your left or right eye. Moreover, you may suddenly start experiencing blasts of white flashes. There is also the chance that your vision becomes milky and clouded – this is the fluid being released over the retina.
- Consult with an ophthalmologist. On top of making sure you are aware of the condition, you also want to visit a specialized ophthalmology center, like Retina Associates, to get regular check ups. If you are concerned about retina tearing, you will want to speak to an ophthalmologist about your options. If you are currently experiencing retinal tearing, you will need to visit an ophthalmologist right away. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that you will lose your vision. When it comes down to it, every second counts.
- Undergo a pneumatic retinopexy. There are a lot of surgeries to fix a retinal tear, so that vision loss does not become a reality. One of those procedures is called a pneumatic retinopexy. This is a unique surgery where an air bubble is pushed into the liquid that lubricated the eye. Once this air bubble is inserted, the retina should go back to where it usually lays over the optic nerve. This procedure can be done inside an ophthalmologist’s office.
- Protect your eye with a patch. After your surgery, you will want to wear an eye patch to protect your vision. You can usually find an eye patch at any leading drugstore. Your doctor may require you to wear your patch for a few weeks – or until the retina is completely healed and your vision has come back. In the end, a retina tear is serious, so you want to have it repaired sooner rather than later.