What Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment and What Causes It?

Vitreous is a material that fills the center of the eye. In the rear of the eye, the vitreous is generally linked to the retina. When the vitreous pulls away from the retina, it is called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).

posterior vitreous detachment

Causes

The vitreous changes as we get older. It loses its solidity and becomes more liquid-like. It pulls out from the rear of the eye and shrinks. Millions of tiny fibers connect the vitreous to the retina. The vitreous separates completely from the retina when too much of these fibers break, resulting in PVD.

posterior vitreous detachment

Signs and Symptoms

The majority of persons with PVD are oblivious to any symptoms. But, PVD patients may have the following symptoms:

  • Light flashes in the peripheral or side vision
  • Floaters, or small particles, in your field of vision
  • More infrequently, a dark curtain or shadow moving over your field of view.

 

PVD Affects Who?

PVD, like wrinkles, is a natural part of the aging process. By the age of 70, the majority of people may experience it. These are some of the risk factors that could lead to a PVD developing sooner:

  • nearsightedness
  • cataract surgery or other types of eye surgery
  • diabetes
  • eye trauma (injury)

posterior vitreous detachment

Is It Possible for PVD to Cause Vision Loss?

PVD is a benign (harmless) occurrence that causes no symptoms and no visual loss in most people. Others could observe a large number of floaters. Floaters can be annoying, but they normally fade away with time.

 

In a tiny percentage of persons with PVD, complications may arise when the vitreous separates from the retina. When the vitreous pushes too forcefully from the back of the eye, it tears away a piece of the underlying tissue (the retina). This is referred to as a retinal tear. It can lead to retinal detachment, which can result in permanent vision loss.

 

What Should I Do if I Suspect I am Suffering From PVD?

The majority of people are unaware that they have PVD. However, if you see a lot of floaters or flashes of light all of a sudden, or if your vision starts to deteriorate, you should consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. These signs and symptoms could be normal, or they could indicate that you have a retinal tear or detachment. You would not be able to distinguish between the two, but an ophthalmologist will. You can save your vision if a retinal tear or detachment is treated early enough by an ophthalmologist.

 

Treatment of PVD

There is no need for treatment if a PVD occurs without causing injury to the retina. Treatment is frequently required if a retinal tear occurs during a PVD. Your ophthalmologist will use a laser or cryopexy (freezing treatment) to seal the retina to the eye wall.

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