What is Retinal Cryotherapy?

Submitted by Elman Retina Group on April 23, 2018

What is Retinal Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is popular in the rehabilitation and exercise science world as a way to promote healing and control inflammation. Thanks to state-of-the-art innovations within the field of ophthalmology, we too can utilize cryotherapy to help patients suffering from retinal diseases or dysfunction.

Retinal Cryotherapy

On the side of the back of your eyes, you have a thin tissue called the retina. This is a highly light-sensitive tissue containing rod and cone cells, which helps collect visual info so that it can be sent to the brain via the optic nerve for processing.

Unfortunately, the retinal tissue is quite sensitive and can become damaged sometimes. For instance:

  • The retina partially detaches from the eye
  • The retina becomes ischemic (loses oxygen)
  • The blood vessels supplying the retinas become damaged or irregularly shaped (neovascularization, Coats’ disease, etc.)
  • The retina develops tumors (as in the case of eye cancer, called retinoblastoma)

When any type of damage occurs to the retinas, blurry vision or loss of vision can occur. But here’s where retinal cryotherapy comes in:

An ophthalmologist can apply extremely cold temperature to the damaged or diseased retina in order to create a “chorioretinal” scar and effectively destroy the tissue. This may sound counter-effective, but in fact, the applied and directed “tissue destruction” caused during retinal cryotherapy can actually stimulate tissue healing, thus restoring some or all of a person’s vision.

What Should I Expect During a Retinal Cryotherapy Treatment?

If you see Dr. Elman for a retinal cryotherapy session, you’ll be given a local anesthetic. A cold metal probe will be placed against the eye in the targeted area until the targeted tissue is affected. Follow up with Dr. Elman is crucial to ensure proper monitoring of your vision.

Is Retinal Cryotherapy Right for Me? Ask our Rosedale, Glen Burnie, Pikesville, and Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Here at the Elman Retinal Group, we’re committed to providing you the best of what ophthalmology has to offer. If you have questions about our services, including retinal cryotherapy, then contact us today to schedule an appointment with our Baltimore ophthalmologist, Dr. Elman.

With over 30 years of clinical practice and thousands of patients examined and treated, Dr. Elman has the skill and compassion to help you maximize your vision and eye health at any age. Call (410) 686-3000 today.