Q:

Why should you be face down when a gas bubble is in your eye?

A:

Quick Answer

Patients must lay face down when a gas bubble is in the eye in order to keep the bubble in the correct place, according to WebMD. If the gas bubble moves, it may place pressure on the front of the eye or cause complications.

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Full Answer

Patients who experience decreased or altered vision, increased pain or redness, swelling around the eye, or discharge coming from the eye, need to seek professional help right away, reports WebMD.

The purpose of the gas bubble is to press lightly against the retina when it has become detached. During the procedure, known as pneumatic retinopexy, a doctor injects a gas bubble into the eye, which then floats into position. Once the gas bubble is in the correct place, the doctor then uses a freezing probe to seal the tear, explains WebMD. This bubble remains in the eye until it is eventually absorbed, typically taking one to three weeks.

This procedure is an outpatient procedure and uses local anesthesia. The risks associated with this procedure include small gas bubbles getting trapped under the retina, new breaks or tears in the retina, scarring of the retina that requires additional treatment and surgeries, or excess fluid that is unable to be absorbed or is absorbed too slowly, as reported by WebMD. In more extreme cases, patients may experience an increase in pressure that eventually causes glaucoma or the original detachment spreading to the macula, which in turn causes vision complications.

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