Retinal Tears and Detachments in Los Angeles, CA

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What Are Tears and Detachments?

If you have a torn or detached retina, this usually happens when the vitreous liquid in your eye starts to congeal and decrease in size and is an age-related disease. When the vitreous fluid starts to thicken and shrink, it can tug or pull on the retina, which causes the tear and then ultimately, it can become detached. For many men and women, this process only creates flashes and floaters, which usually aren’t serious. However, an abrupt or aggressive pull could create a tear or detachment. Retinal detachments and tears can become very serious and may cause blindness if not diagnosed within a certain amount of time.

If you start to notice floaters, flashes, or problems with your peripheral vision, we strongly encourage you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam as soon as you can. Our board-certified ophthalmologists at Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA have a wide variety of advanced techniques and treatments to help diagnose and manage retinal tears and detachments. Please schedule an appointment at either of our locations in Encino or West Hills to learn more.

What Are the signs of a tear or detachment?

If you notice increased flashes, floaters, hazy vision, or issues with your peripheral sight, these could all potentially indicate a detached or torn retina. Other symptoms that are associated with a retinal problem may include:

  • Sudden decrease in vision acuity
  • Sudden increase in the presence of floaters and/or flashes
  • Sudden or a gradual increase of darkened vision, such as when clouds float past the sun
  • Sudden loss of color (light colors look dull or gray)
  • Decreased peripheral vision 

Most patients do not experience the normal signs of retinal detachment or tear until after the condition has become more advanced.


As we age, the process can impact many parts of our appearance or health, and our eyes are just as prone to experiencing problems with aging. As men and women start to grow older, the vitreous fluid within their eyes starts to thicken, making it congeal together and decrease in size. When this area starts to get smaller, it causes the fluid to move away from or pull at the retina, which creates a tear. After developing a tear, the remaining fluid could start to leak and raise the retina, causing a retinal detachment. If you have certain health or eye conditions, including diabetes, autoimmune disease, or myopia, you have a higher chance of experiencing a retinal tear or detachment. Additional causes include:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Fluid accumulation related to macular degeneration
  • Scar tissue on the retina

How Are Retinal Tears and Detachments Diagnosed?

First, our staff will apply some eye drops to your affected eye. This will dilate your pupil so we can get a better look at your retina. We'll likely use some lights and/or lenses to get an in-depth look at the area and identify the problem. If a retinal tear or detachment is spotted, we will recommend scheduling immediate treatment.


To prevent long-term damage, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. Early detection can prevent the retina from becoming detached. Additionally, procedures for retinal tears are not as invasive and can provide significant improvements to your eye health. If you have a retinal tear, we offer laser treatments or panretinal photocoagulation, which help seal the tear. This prevents liquid from seeping into the eye while potentially stopping future detachment.

Generally, retinal tears have less intrusive procedure options; however, a retinal detachment usually needs surgery to treat the issue. Certain procedural techniques that require us to place the retina in its normal place are more aggressive and require a longer time to heal. Usually, many patients tend to experience better eyesight and ocular health after retinal surgery. However, this is based on the severity of your condition and if you have any previous damage to the retinal nerves. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, we offer a range of retinal surgeries that are tailored to meet your needs and your unique condition.

Retinal tears and detachment FAQ

When do floaters and flashers become serious?

Minor floaters and flashes are common and are usually not a great cause for concern. However, those who experience a sudden onset of floaters or flashes should seek medical attention right away, as this could be a sign of retinal detachment. An exam is necessary to determine the cause and proper treatment in Los Angeles, CA.

What causes scar tissue on the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue that is responsible for sending visual signals to the brain. When this tissue is damaged, it can result in the formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue may be the result of an injury, disease, or previous surgery. Please inform your doctor if you have an eye injury or a history of retinal surgery.

How do you prepare for retinal detachment treatment?

Our professionals at OAV will provide everything you need to know to prepare for surgery or other forms of treatment. These include starting or stopping specific medications and avoiding activities that could increase your risk of complications. It is important that you follow all instructions carefully to ensure successful outcomes.

Call Today for Help

If you notice symptoms associated with a retinal tear or detachment, we highly recommend scheduling an eye exam with one of our board-certified ophthalmologists soon. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our group proudly offers state-of-the-art laser technology and a variety of innovative services to improve ocular health and vision acuity. Please contact one of our offices in Encino or West Hills to reduce any additional damage.


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