Retinal Hole and Tear

Retinal holes and tears are small breaks in the retina. Sometimes the tissues of the retina begin to thin or weaken over time. The retina is light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Holes and tears can develop in areas of thinning. The vitreous (the clear gel in the center of the eyeball) may pull the retina and tear it.

Eye problems that may increase the risk of retinal holes and tears include:

  • Nearsightedness

  • Eye injuries

  • Cataract or certain other types of eye surgery


Laser retinopexy is a procedure where the doctor uses a thermal laser that passes through the eye and forms barricade scar tissues around a retinal tear. The scar tissue serves as a weld in order to prevent expansion of the retinal tear and prevent fluid from entering into the retinal tear and causing progressive retinal detachment. This procedure works well when there is no significant retinal detachment

Retinal Detachment

A detached retina is when the retina lifts away from the back of the eye. The retina does not work when it is detached, making vision blurry. A detached retina is serious and you should see an Ophthalmologist right away to prevent vision loss.

How Do You Get a Detached Retina?

As we get older, the vitreous in our eyes starts to shrink and get thinner. As the eye moves, the vitreous moves around on the retina without causing problems. But sometimes the vitreous may stick to the retina and pull hard enough to tear it. When that happens, fluid can pass through the tear and lift (detach) the retina.

Who Is at Risk for a Retinal Detachment?

You are more at risk of a retinal detachment if you:

  • are near sighted

  • have had eye surgery (Cataract, Glaucoma or other surgery)

  • take glaucoma medications that make the pupil small

  • had a serious eye injury

  • had a retinal tear or detachment in your other eye

  • have family members who have had a retinal detachment

Early Signs of a Detached Retina

A detached retina has to be examined by an ophthalmologist right away. Otherwise, you could lose vision in that eye. Call an ophthalmologist immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • New onset of flashing lights. 

  • New onset of floaters all at once. (May look like specks, lines or cobwebs)

  • The appearance of a shadow in your peripheral vision.

  • A gray curtain covering part of your field of vision.


Dr. Arleo and Dr. Zablocki perform Laser Retinopexy in the office to repair a retinal tear or hole. The procedure typically takes 15-20 minutes, though you should expect to be here for 1-2 hours. You may want to bring somebody to drive you, while the procedure is typically painless, you will be dilated which will blur your vision for at least a few hours.