As part of our surgical services, Andersen Eye Associates offers comprehensive retinal surgeries, most commonly for retinal tears and detachment.
The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. When light enters the eye, it is focused by the cornea and lens onto the retina. The retina then transforms the light images into electrical impulses, which are sent to the brain by the optic nerve.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the back wall of the eye. When the retina becomes detached, its blood supply is reduced and its ability to process light rays is impaired. If total detachment occurs, the retina becomes useless, as it can no longer transmit information to the brain, causing blindness.
The most common signs patients experience when a retinal detachment starts is seeing flashing lights and new, small objects floating in their vision that appear suddenly. One of these signs may occur without the other.
As part of the normal aging process, the clear fluid that fills the inner cavity of the eye, called the vitreous, begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. Most of the time, this shrinking causes no damage to the eye. However, sometimes the vitreous remains attached to the retina and the shrinking of the vitreous causes the retina to tear. These tears usually occur in the peripheral retina where there is little effect on vision.
Left untreated, however, retinal tears can lead to retinal detachment. Once a retinal tear is present, fluid from the vitreous may seep through the tear into the space between the retina and the wall of the eye. The fluid causes the retina to detach.
Retinal detachment can also be caused by tumors, inflammation, and complications from diabetes. With these types of detachment, no holes or tears occur in the retina. Treatment of the disease causing the detachment is the only way to allow the retina to return to its normal position.
Retinal tears require immediate treatment to prevent retinal detachment and sight loss. Treatment of retinal tears is designed to create a scar that welds the retina to the back of the eye to prevent future tearing. The scar seals the tear and blocks fluid from passing under the retina. Tears can be sealed with laser treatment or with a freezing probe (cryopexy). During laser treatment, heat from the laser is used to place small scars around the edge of the tear to seal the break.
If you are experiencing the signs of a retinal tear or detachment, or another vision problem, you should obtain a complete eye examination. Contact Andersen Eye Associates today to schedule an appointment.
Andersen Eye Associates proudly serves the Greater Saginaw region including Flint, Frankenmuth, Bay City, Midland, Bridgeport, Bad Axe, Mount Pleasant, and surrounding areas.