What Are Some Causes and Symptoms of a Hole in the Retina?

A retinal hole occurs when pockets of fluid pull the gel in the center of the eyeball away from the retina in a weak or thin area causing a hole or tear, explains Summit Medical Group. Symptoms of a retinal tear include cloudy, blurry or wavy vision and having a dark shadow or curtain in the field of vision. Other symptoms include the sudden appearance of floaters or flashes. Some individuals have no symptoms.

Individuals who are nearsighted or have ailments such as diabetes or sickle cell anemia are more susceptible to retinal holes and tears, states Summit Medical Group. In addition, if a person has sustained an eye injury, has a cataract or has undergone certain types of eye surgery, he is more likely to develop retinal holes or tears. Individuals with a personal or family history of retinal problems are also more likely to develop these conditions.

An eye exam with a vision care provider diagnoses a retinal hole, notes Summit Medical Group. The provider may use a slit lamp to examine the eye, or he may use drops to dilate a patient's pupils while using a light to examine the back of the eye. An eye care provider may use an ultrasound to view pictures of the back of a person's eye to make a diagnosis.

An eye care provider treats a retinal hole by sealing it with a laser or a cryoprobe, according to Summit Medical Group. A patient may have to use eye drops. In some cases, treatment is not necessary, but regular monitoring is necessary.