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'Today' Co-Host Savannah Guthrie Has Torn Retina: What to Know About the Eye Injury

Savannah Guthrie is recovering from a serious eye injury after being hit in the eye with a rather large toy train thrown by her 2-year-old son.

The "Today" show co-host posted on social media and called her colleagues Wednesday to say she had suffered a torn retina when her boy, Charley, accidentally hit her in the face while playing with his train.

Torn retinas carry a high risk of retinal detachment, which can lead to permanent blindness. 

"It happened last week, actually, and then I lost my vision in my right eye about 24 hours later," she told her fellow co-hosts. "Then it turned out to be kind of serious. They were afraid my retina was detached," she said.

Diagram of a detached retina.

Diagram of a torn and a detached retina. Mayo Clinic

The injury most often occurs when something sharp scrapes or hits the eye, according to experts. The train belonging to Guthrie's son "has a really pointed edge and he threw it right at me," she said.

Medical treatment should be sought immediately.

Detachment occurs when that thin layer of tissue pulls completely away from the eye, leading to blood and other fluid building up behind the rip. The longer treatment is delayed, the stronger the risk of losing sight in that eye, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

Signs of torn retina include reduced vision and the appearance of "floaters" and flashes in one's vision.  

Not to be too gross, Guthrie said, but her lost vision was caused by internal bleeding building up behind the retinal tear. She has been undergoing laser treatments to try to seal the rip, she said. Laser treatments, which can be administered in a doctor's office, are the most common means of trying to reseal the torn tissue. 

Doctors advised her to rest, she said, to avoid detaching the retina completely. Sudden body movements can make the tear worse.

Another form of treatment is cold therapy, or cryotherapy, a newer practice that involves applying an extremely cold probe to the outside of the eye.

The freezing temperature, like a laser, can seal leaking blood vessels and retinal tears.

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