Retinal Tears and Detachments

Retinal tears and detachments happen when the retina (the inner lining of the eye) is damaged. The retina is a layer of tissue that’s light-sensitive and sends visual information through the optic nerve to the brain. Without it, we are unable to see.

A retinal tear is a small break in this inner lining. Retinal tears can have many causes and can happen at any age. Aging, eye trauma, eye surgery, or being drastically nearsighted may cause retinal tears or detachments.

Treating Retinal Damage

Tears and detachments can be treated with laser surgery or an advanced “freezing” process. Both of these treatment options attempt to keep the retina in place and keep it from fully detaching. If tears are not treated quickly, this layer of tissue can eventually detach from the inside of the eye. Detachment causes permanent vision loss.

Retinal detachment describes a much larger separation of the retina tissues. Although it is not exclusive to older people, it’s more common in those over age 40. If detected early enough, retinal detachment can be treated with the procedures used for some tears. More intricate surgery may be necessary. This procedure uses gas to push the retina together with the wall of the eye to allow for reattachment.

Symptoms of Retinal Tears and Detachments

Symptoms of these retinal conditions may include seeing flashes or floaters, sudden blurry vision, and seeing an area of dark vision.

If you notice changes to your eyesight or have other questions regarding your eye health, please call us right away. Make sure to mention any changes to Dr. Gary Fowle and Dr. Andy Fowle during your appointment. Serious problems can develop if left untreated, or if too much time passes between eye exams.

We’re happy to schedule an exam time that is convenient for you, or to work you in as soon as possible, in case of an eye emergency.

We hope this message finds you and yours healthy as the COVID-19 coronavirus impacts our community. Please note that our office will have limited hours going forward. Our office is closed for routine care as required by Governor Whitmer's order. You may call our office from 10 am-noon, Monday - Friday, to answer any questions regarding contact lens supplies, glasses repairs, and eye emergencies. If you have a TRUE eye emergency after these hours please call our office at 616-866-0140 and listen to instructions.

Contact us with any questions. We are here to help you.

IMPORTANT: If you are infected with COVID-19 or think you may have been infected, please contact us before coming in. This way we can instruct you on where to go and how to proceed for the safety of all.

Fowle Eyecare Associates, PLC