Retinal Tears

Retinal detachment occurs when a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. This is a serious eye condition that can cause you to lose your vision permanently.

If you suspect you are suffering from a retinal tear or have had any sudden changes in your vision recently, schedule an examination with us immediately.


What is a Retinal Tear?

The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive nerve fibers and cells that covers the inside back lining of the eyeball. For the eye to see, light must pass through the lens of the eye and focus on the retina. The retina then acts like a camera, taking a picture and transmitting the image through the optic nerve to the brain.

The vitreous fluid is a gel-like material that fills the back of the eye and is attached to the retina. As the vitreous ages, it changes shape, and it may pull a piece of the retina with it, causing a retinal tear. Once a retinal tear occurs, vitreous fluid may seep between the retina and the back wall of the eye, causing the retina to pull away or detach. The longer the retina remains detached, the more likely there will be permanent damage to the eye.

How Can We Help?

Retinal tears and detachments are not visible from the outside of the eye; only a comprehensive eye exam can detect them. If caught early, treatment can be quick and relatively painless, but even once treated, future tears are more likely to occur. Therefore regular eye exams are crucial to maintaining eye health both before and after retinal tears.

Symptoms include:


The sudden appearance of many floaters — tiny specks that seem to drift through your field of vision


Flashes of light in one or both eyes (photopsia)


Blurred vision


Gradually reduced side (peripheral) vision


A curtain-like shadow over your visual field