The risk of developing a retinal tear goes up with age, and people who have extreme nearsightedness or glaucoma have a higher chance of developing this condition. Knowing your risk factors for retinal tears is important, and you’ll also want to know how to handle one if a tear develops. When you catch a retinal tear early, you can use these tips to prevent it from turning into a complete detachment.
Identify the Tear Early
Retinal tears are typically painless, but they usually cause some degree of vision changes. Flashes of light are commonly seen during the immediate development of the tear, and most people also report seeing an increase in floaters. You might also notice that you have blurry vision or trouble focusing on objects in your line of sight. Some people may also experience a headache along with vision changes. While some of these symptoms might be fairly normal, such as seeing small amounts of floaters on occasion, it’s best to err on the side of caution by reaching out to your retina doctor in Brooklyn that can conduct a full eye exam.
Arrange to Have the Retinal Tear Repaired
Occasionally, a retinal tear will be minor enough to heal on its own, but the only way to know this is to have an eye exam. During the exam, your doctor can check for signs of healing that let them know if it is safe to allow your body to repair the tear naturally. However, most retinal tears typically require some form of treatment to prevent them from progressing to a complete detachment.
Laser treatments can be used to create small amounts of scar tissue along the edges of the tear that gives the retina more strength. Or, your eye doctor might recommend using vitreoretinal surgery to correct a larger tear that is heading toward becoming detached. With treatment, 85% of retinas can be reattached, and almost half of all people who have a successful reattachment will go on to have excellent vision.
Continue With Regular Dilated Eye Exams
Most people experience only mild discomfort during their retinal tear treatment, and you can expect to continue with your normal activities during your recovery. However, you are at greater risk of having new tears develop after you’ve had one. There is also the possibility that the scar tissue that holds your tear together could come apart over time. After you’ve had your retinal tear repaired, make sure to ask your eye specialist about how often you’ll need to schedule future eye exams. Performing a dilated eye exam helps your eye care specialist to check on the status of the former tear while ensuring that no more form.
Retinal tears aren’t typically preventable, but you do have the ability to stop them from getting worse. Most eye health problems are easier to treat when you seek care as early as possible. When it comes to retinal tears, prompt treatment can stop detachments that threaten your vision.