On Wednesday, November 27, Savannah Guthrie of the NBC Today Show called in to explain why she’s been absent from the air. She suffered an eye injury after her 2-year-old son accidentally hit her right eye with the pointed edge of a toy train.
“Charley threw a toy train at my eye and it tore my retina,” the NBC hostess said. “It happened last week actually, and then I lost my vision … about 24 hours later.” This current vision loss is due to blood from the tear seeping into her vitreous cavity, which is the jelly that supports the middle of the eye. This blood has blocked light from hitting the back of her eye, which has reduced her vision.
Guthrie has undergone multiple laser treatments in an effort to seal the tear in her retina. The goal of these treatments is to mend the tear so the retina doesn’t fully detach. A detachment would require major surgery.
Guthrie is optimistic about her prognosis, as she says she is recovering quickly due to her treatments.
According to Dr. Natalie Azar, about 1 in 300 people (including celebrities!) will develop a retinal tear before the age of 85. Trauma to the eye is not the only risk factor. Other conditions such as nearsightedness and retinal thinning may contribute to the formation of a tear.
Retinal tears are a condition that Dr. Saralyn Notaro treats frequently in her practice. These types of tears are not terribly uncommon. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you experience any symptoms such as flashes, floaters, or sudden loss of vision! You can reach us at (716) 839-9009.