Symptoms of Retinal Tears: Key Warning Signs and Risk Factors

Jan 31, 2018 @ 01:05 PM — by Retina Associates, P.A.

A hike up a mountainA retinal tear refers to a rip in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eyes. Retina tears are not the same as retinal detachment, which involves a portion of the retina completely coming loose. However, a retinal tear does increase the risk of retinal detachment and permanent vision loss if it is not addressed as soon as possible. In many cases, retinal tears are the result of the vitreous gel in the eye tugging and damaging the retina. The may occur as a result of advanced age or trauma to the eyes.

The Kansas City, MO team at Retina Associates would like to go over some of the most common warning signs, symptoms, and risk factors of retinal tears. By knowing what to look out for, you can get immediate medical help and prevent permanent vision loss.

Flashes of Light

One of the key warning signs of a retinal tear is seeing sudden flashes of light. If these flashes of light occur apropos of nothing, it may be a cause for some alarm.

Floaters in Your Vision

Another telltale sign of a retinal tear is the appearance of many floaters in your vision. Floaters are particles that flow through your visual field. They often resembles cobwebs or lint. Multiple floaters appearing suddenly in your vision is a cause for concern.

Darkening of Your Peripheral Vision

As your vision dissipates following a retinal tear, the peripheral vision tends to go first. If your peripheral vision appears to darken at the edges in addition to light flashes and floaters, this is a sure sign of a retinal tear.

Blurry Vision

Overall vision quality tends to go when a person suffers some sort of retinal damage. Note any blurring or general dimming of your vision, particularly if it happens suddenly.

Risk Factors for Retinal Tears and Detachment

Certain people are more at risk for retinal tears and detachment than others. Be sure to note the following risk factors for retinal damage:

  • Advanced Age - People who are 50 years old or older are more likely to suffer from retinal tears and detachment
  • Severe Nearsightedness (Myopia) - There has been evidence that shows people with severe myopia are more prone to retinal tears
  • Family History of Retinal Tears - If others in your family have had to deal with retinal tears or detachment, you are genetically more likely to also experience this condition
  • Previous Retinal Detachment or Tearing - A previous case of retinal tears or detachment means you are more likely to experience another one in the future
  • Previous Eye Injury or Inflammation - Severe trauma to or infection of the eyes increases your risk fro future eye problems, which includes retinal tears and detachment
  • Previous Eye Surgery - While procedures such as cataract surgery are routine, they are linked to an increased risk for retinal tears later on

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

As we noted above, if you notice any of the above symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention right away. Acting quickly can save your vision.

Contact Our Team of Retinal Specialists

To learn more about your options for saving your vision and enhancing your wellness, be sure to contact the doctors at Retina Associates today. Our team is here to help you see clearly once more.

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