The Benefits of Retinal Cryotherapy

Submitted by Elman Retina Group on July 28, 2017

Retinal cryotherapy is an advanced, modern ophthalmology treatment that uses freezing temperatures to treat retinal tear(s), retinal detachment and similar problems that could threaten your vision. Cryotherapy has similar goals to retinal laser treatment, but it may be preferred if bleeding (which could block laser energy) has occurred within the eye during retinal tearing.

The Function of the Retina

The retinal membrane at the rear of your eye functions like camera film does (in a non-digital camera). When you see an image, light enters your eye’s natural, clear cornea (lens) and strikes the retina connected to your optic nerve. The optic nerve sends the visual information to your brain. The brain processes the visual nerve signal and extracts meaning–telling you what you are seeing. Your vision can be interrupted if the retina is torn away from its normal, proper place within the eye. The retina is held in the correct position by a ring of tissue known as the pars plana.

How Retinal Cryotherapy Works To Reattach Your Retina

Cryotherapy (also called retinal cryopexy) helps to restore the pars plana connective tissue to hold your retina in place and preserve your vision. To prepare for retinal cryotherapy and retinal reattachment surgery, you receive a painless anesthetic injection to numb your eye. Then, your eye doctor will use a thin, tiny metal probing instrument to touch, freeze and destroy a small amount of retinal membrane tissue. After the retinal cryotherapy procedure, your retina responds by forming natural scar tissue. This scar tissue “glues” the retina to the back of the eye, so it stays in the correct place, and helps restore your vision.

When is Retinal Cryotherapy Recommended?

Cryotherapy can benefit you if you suffer from eye diseases or conditions such as:

  • Retinal detachment, where the retina is torn away, or displaced, from its correct spot at the back of the eye
  • Retinal ischemia, where oxygen deprivation has caused eye damage
  • Ocular neovascularization, where blood vessels within the eye overgrow, in response to ischemia, injury or trauma
  • Tumors (retinoblastomas)
  • Coats’ disease, a rare congenital condition, which causes vision loss due to blood vessel problems
  • Advanced glaucoma

Get Expert Retinal Cryotherapy Treatment in Maryland

If you have a retinal tear in your eye, see your eye doctor right away. Quick assessment and treatment is key to avoiding irreversible eye damage and vision loss. Cryotherapy is not appropriate for every patient, so after a comprehensive eye examination by our ophthalmologists, we will recommend the best treatment for retinal tearing or detachment. Elman Retina Group serves patients in Glen Burnie, Rosedale, Pikesville and surrounding MD areas. Contact us at 410-686-3000 for your exam, today.