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A retinal tear occurs when the vitreous gel separates from the back of the eye and causes a tear in the retina. The symptoms of new floaters and flashing lights are a sign of a retinal tear. Treating a retinal tear early can prevent a retinal detachment which is a very serious condition. A high level of nearsightedness is a risk for retinal tears. If you have the symptoms of a potential retinal tear please call our office immediately.