The Retina Centers of Washington

  Contact : (301) 279-9123 , Fax: (301) 279-6828

Retinal tear and detachment

The retina is a very thin and delicate tissue. Traction can be exerted upon it by the vitreous, the clear gel that occupies the back compartment of the eye where the retina is located. In doing so, a retinal tear may develop. Most often, this occurs through normal aging of the vitreous although sometimes trauma to the head or eye may also do this (for more information please read the section on posterior vitreous detachment). Retinal tears are more likely to develop in individuals who are highly myopic (near sighted) and thus generally have a longer eyeball which subjects the retina to more stress from the vitreous.

Retinal tear and detachment 1

Photo of retinal tear

When the retina is torn, patients may experience the onset of flashes of light due to pulling of the vitreous on the retina as well as new floaters above and beyond what they typically experience. It is important to know that the symptoms of a vitreous detachment, retinal tear, or early retinal detachment are very similar.

A retinal tear is usually treated in the office with a laser procedure to create a barrier of scarring in hopes of preventing a retinal detachment. You can imagine this as spot welding around the tear to create a seal to the underlying tissue.

Retinal tear and detachment 2

Photo of retinal detachment

A retinal detachment typically occurs when liquefied vitreous over time enters through a retinal tear, thereby separating the retina from the wall of the eye. As previously mentioned, detachments occur usually in the setting of a posterior vitreous detachment and sometimes with trauma to the head or eye. As a result, an area of blurry vision corresponding to the location of the detached retina may develop, especially if the detachment encroaches upon the central portions of the retina. Over time more of the retina will detach, causing further loss of vision.

Depending on the severity and nature of the detachment, there are different treatment options including laser, pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy, and scleral buckling.

Retina Centers of Washington COVID-19 Safety Protocol

Dear Valued Patients and Friends,

We are truly grateful for the love and support you’ve provided us over the past few months as we navigated through the pandemic. With your continued support, we have been able to stay open, through this entire pandemic, to treat our patients' essential eye care needs. 

The safety of our patients, and our staff members, is our top priority; therefore, we have implemented safety protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Here are some of our new safety procedures that are currently in place for when you visit our office(s).

Prior to Your Appointment:

·  You will be pre-screened over the phone when scheduling your appointment.

·  If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, we ask that you call and reschedule your appointment.

·  If you have been exposed to anyone with the virus, we ask that you call and reschedule your appointment. 

·  We will minimize the number of people in the practice (please come alone unless there is a true need for someone to accompany you).

·  We request that anyone accompanying you to wait safely in their car, unless it is truly necessary for them to come into your appointment with you. We truly appreciate your cooperation on this.

Once You arrive:

·  We are requiring all patients to arrive wearing a mask (we will provide one if needed), and that it is properly worn through the entire visit. 

·  We will check your temperature upon your arrival.

·  We request that patients use hand sanitizer upon arrival and departure of our office.

·  We have reduced the number of chairs in the waiting area to respect physical distance protocol.

·  All magazines and brochures have been removed.

Staff and Strict Cleaning Protocols:

·  We complete daily prescreening for COVID symptoms for Staff, and Doctors. 

·  All Staff members will be using PPE and wearing masks at all times, including our providers. A face shield and gloves will be worn as needed.

·  Our staff regularly performs surface cleaning of frequently touched areas throughout the day.

·  Our waiting room, exam rooms, testing equipment, and other common areas are cleaned and sterilized after every patient appointment.

We thank you for your patience with all these changes, and for your cooperation as we continue to safely navigate through the pandemic. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 301-279-9124 and we will be glad to help you!