Retinal Tear

Retinal Tear

A retinal tear occurs when the clear gel (vitreous humor) inside the eyeball cavity pulls away from its attachment to the retina (the nerve layer that lines the inside of the eyeball and transmits images to the brain). Sometimes the vitreous gel pulls hard enough to create a tear in the retina in one or more places.

Warning Signs

  • Flashing lights
  • New floaters involving either the central or peripheral vision


Retinal tears can be repaired easily in the office with laser treatment. Laser burns are applied so that the tear is completely surrounded, forming a barrier preventing fluid from getting under the retina and causing a detachment. The term for this treatment is "laser retinopexy."