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THE FIRST days after the occurrence of a retinal tear furnish the ophthalmologist with an opportunity to make an early diagnosis and to provide treatment with the greatest chance for reattachment and a good visual result. Unfortunately, retinal detachment is often discovered after clearing a vitreous hemorrhage which may have occurred several weeks or months previously. Such patients have usually been examined at regular intervals thereafter and tested for diabetes and hypertension. When the blood has absorbed, however, extensive detachment, atrophy of the macula, and preretinal fibrosis are often revealed.
When a patient is seen on the day hemorrhage occurs, as is frequently the case, the ophthalmologist should consider emergency immobilization. If the patient is placed on bed rest with both eyes patched and the head elevated at 45°, rapid settling of the blood through the liquid phase of the vitreous occurs. This may permit a view of the
Harvey Lincoff. Guilty Until Proved Innocent. Arch Ophthalmol. 1967;78(3):271. doi:10.1001/archopht.1967.00980030273002