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What if I have things floating in my vision?


Vitrectomy

A vitrectomy may be performed to clear blood and debris from the eye, to remove scar tissue, or to alleviate traction on the retina. The Vitrectomy actually removes vitreous gel from the eye through a small incision using a laser. Vitrectomy allows the retina to flatten. Depending on the severity of the diabetic retinopathy, gas or air might be placed in the eye to replace the vitreous fluid that was removed. This gas or air helps smooth out the retina and prevent retinal detachment.


Retinal Detachment

Flash and Floaters The middle of our eye is filled with a clear gel called vitreous (vi-tree-us) that is attached to the retina. Sometimes tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous will cast shadows on the retina, and you may sometimes see small dots, specks, strings or clouds moving in your field of vision. These are called floaters. You can often see them when looking at a plain, light background, like a blank wall or blue sky.

As we get older, the vitreous may shrink and pull on the retina. When this happens, you may notice what look like flashing lights, lightning streaks or the sensation of seeing “stars.” These are called flashes.

Usually, the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems. But sometimes the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina in one or more places. Fluid may pass through a retinal tear, lifting the retina off the back of the eye — much as wallpaper can peel off a wall. When the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye like this, it is called a retinal detachment.

The retina does not work when it is detached and vision becomes blurry. A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that almost always causes blindness unless it is treated with retina detachment surgery.


ROP

Retinopathy Of Prematurity or ROP, is a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants that are born before 31 weeks of gestation. The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby is to develop ROP. This disorder typically develops in both eyes and is one of the most common causes of vision problems for children and can lead to enduring vision damage and blindness.

What are the causes of ROP?

Disordered retinal blood vessels or Irregular blood vessels develop throughout the retina. These abnormal blood vessels are delicate and can leak, damaging the retina and drawing it out of normal position. This causes a retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is the main cause of visual impairment and blindness in ROP.

Several intricate factors may be responsible for the development of ROP. The eye starts to develop early in pregnancy, (about 15-16 weeks). This is when the blood vessels of the retina begin to form at the optic nerve in the back of the eye. The blood vessels grow slowly toward the edges of the developing retina, supplying oxygen and nutrients. During the final 12 weeks of a pregnancy, the eye develops quickly. When a baby is born full-term, the retinal blood vessel development is mostly complete. But if a baby is born prematurely, in advance of these blood vessels having reached the edges of the retina, normal progression may stop. The borders of the retina may not get enough oxygen and nutrients. These new blood vessels are fragile and weak and can bleed, leading to retinal scarring. When these scars contract, they pull on the retina, causing it to detach from the back of the eye.

What are the Risk factors for ROP?

What are treatment options for ROP?

Some cases of ROP are mild and correct themselves, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness. Surgery involves using a laser or other means to stop the growth of the abnormal blood vessels, making sure they don't pull on the retina further damaging vision. There are options that Orange County Retina specialist utilize when treating ROP that all focus on the repairing retinal health.