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Retinal tears and abnormal vitreomacular adhesions
In some fortunately rare cases, abnormal adhesions develop in peripheral areas between the vitreous and the retina. In correspondence to these adhesions, there may be detachment of the vitreous; due to the traction forces this generates, the retina may tear or rupture.
When retinal tears occur, the water present inside the eye can flow underneath the retina and detach it from the eyeball.
Symptoms and diagnosis
When there is a retinal tear, the symptoms perceived by the patient will be analogous to those observed with a posterior detachment of the vitreous.
Only a careful eye examination can determine whether the problems have been caused by a posterior detachment of the vitreous with no further consequences or whether there are retinal tears.
It stands to reason that if the patient perceives any of theabovemmentioned symptoms, the eye should be examined by a specialist as soon as possible.
The examination of the fundus of the eye: the doctor will observe the patient’s retina, the surface of the tissue in particular, as the ruptures will appear most frequently in this portion. The examination is straightforward with no pain or discomfort as the eye will be desensitized with a few drops of topical anesthetic solution.
Retinal tears must be repaired and a laser is frequently used in this procedure.
When the anesthetic eye drops have been instilled, the doctor will observe the peripheral areas of the retina through a lens to identify the tears. A beam of laser light is then used to burn the tissue around the tears. The burns are like soldering and will create very strong adhesion of the retina to the wall of the eye and prevents the retina detaching.
Generally-speaking, this procedure is very short (lasting just a few minutes), it is almost painless and is associated with a certain degree of glare created by the strong intensity of the light beam projected into the eye. However, the glare is short-lived and transitory. Once the treatment has been completed, the patient can return home and cautiously continue with his/her routine activities.