Retinal Tears and Detachment

retinal tears

retinal tears

Led by Dr. Cameron Javid, Retina Associates is a Tucson, Arizona-based ophthalmology practice that treats medical issues surrounding the retina and vitreous parts of the eye. One of the most common problems the professionals at Retina Associates deal with is retinal tears.

The retina is the layer of tissue on the back of the human eye that receives light brought in and focused by the lens. It transforms the light into neural signals and forwards them to the brain, thus enabling visual recognition. When a person experiences a retinal tear, in which the retina pulls away within the eyeball, that individual may experience an increased number of floaters and/or flashes within his or her line of vision. These floaters look similar to specks or tiny cobwebs that are most apparent when the eye is focused upon a solid, light-colored surface.

A retinal tear can sometimes progress to a retinal detachment, which is a medical emergency that can lead to significant vision loss or even blindness. An Individual’s risk of developing retinal detachment increases if he or she is over the age of 50, has nearsighted vision, history of eye surgery, trauma, thinning of the retina or has a family history of the condition.

Retinal Detachment – A Serious Eye Condition that May Cause Blindness

vitreous disorders Image:

vitreous disorders

Tucson, Arizona-based Retina Associates provides diagnosis and treatment for a variety of retina and vitreous disorders through a team of experienced vitreo-retinal surgeons that include Dr. Cameron Javid. Disorders treated by Retina Associates include retinal detachment, a serious eye condition that can lead to a permanent loss of vision if left untreated.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the surrounding tissue, which can result from age, pre existing conditions causing thinning of the retina, injury, advanced diabetes, inflammatory eye disorders, or the shrinkage or contraction of the vitreous, a gel-like material inside the eye. Retinal detachment may also occur when vitreous collects underneath the retina through tears in the retinal tissue. Symptoms of the condition cause no pain but manifest instead in the form of darkening of the peripheral or central vision, flashes of light, and the appearance of debris or floaters in one’s vision. Permanent blindness may occur due to a prolonged lack of oxygen as the disorder restricts the flow of oxygen to retina cells.

Due to the risk of permanent blindness, ophthalmologists advise those with retinal detachment to seek immediate medical help. Patients require surgery in nearly every case, although the type of surgery depends upon the severity of the individual case. Vitreo-retinal surgeons can treat retinal tears that have yet to progress into full detachment with outpatient procedures; such as laser, however, full detachments may require more intensive surgical options. Treatment success varies on a case-by-case basis and in part depends upon damage done to the central area of the retina and the extent of oxygen loss to the retina cells. Vision can take months to improve even in the case of successful operations.

NIH Research Links Gene to Macular Degeneration

At Retina Associates of Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Cameron Javid and his associates provide care to patients dealing with disorders pertaining to the vitreous and retina. According to Dr. Cameron Javid, the most common condition Retina Associates treats is macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition and one of the main causes of vision loss in individuals age 50 and older, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). AMD leads to damage of the macula, which is a small spot adjacent to the retina’s center that allows people to see straight ahead. Along with genetic predisposition, risk factors of the condition include lifestyle choices like smoking, lack of exercise, and poor diet.

In 2013, the NEI reported that three separate studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have established a link between AMD and specific genes that encode the complement system, a set of proteins that trigger immune responses and inflammation. Researchers found that employing drug that suppress the complement system, particularly the C3 gene, may help with late-stage AMD.