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- How is a Retinal Tear Dangerous for my Eye?
Tears can easily act as a channel for fluid to track under the retina, causing a retinal detachment. When a retinal tear or hole hasn’t yet progressed to detachment, your eye surgeon may suggest an outpatient procedure which can usually prevent retinal detachment and preserve vision.
- How are Tears Treated?
Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy. Performed in the office, laser creates tiny burns around the retinal break. As healing takes place, a water-tight seal is formed, preventing a retinal detachment. Cryopexy works similarly to laser and is selected in certain circumstances.
- How is a Laser Treatment Performed?
Your surgeon directs a laser beam through a special contact lens or a device mounted on the surgeon’s head. This procedure requires no surgical incision, and it causes minimal irritation. Some of the laser spots can be felt, but are rarely painful.
- What About Freezing (Cryopexy) Treatment?
Your surgeon briefly freezes the retina around the tear. After anesthetizing the eye, a freezing probe is applied to the surface of the eye directly over the defect. Cryopexy is used in instances where tears are difficult to visualize or reach with a laser or when fluid has already begun to seep under the retina. Your eye may be somewhat red and swollen afterwards.
- What Do I Need To Do Afterwards?
Generally, a period of decreased activity is recommended for about 2 weeks. Of course, any increase in symptoms will require another examination, in case any new tears arise or a detachment develops.