Retinal tears commonly occur when there is traction on the retina by the vitreous gel inside the eye. In a child’s eye, the vitreous has an egg-white consistency and is firmly attached to certain areas of the retina. Over time, the vitreous gradually becomes thinner and can separate from the retina. This is known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). PVDs are typically harmless and cause floaters in the eye; but in some cases, the traction on the retina may create a tear. Retinal tears frequently lead to detachments as fluids seep underneath the retina, causing it to separate and detach.
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina’s sensory and pigment layers separate. Because it can cause devastating damage to the vision if left untreated, retinal detachment is considered an ocular emergency that requires immediate medical attention and surgery. It is a problem that occurs most frequently in the middle-aged and elderly.
There are a number of ways to treat retinal detachment. The appropriate treatment depends on the type, severity and location of the detachment. It is critical that these problems are reported early because early treatment can greatly improve the chance of restoring vision.
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*As with any surgical procedure there are risks along with benefits. It is important to discuss your surgical procedure with your surgeon to fully understand the risks and benefits.