What is a Vitreous Detachment?
A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is defined as the separation of the posterior vitreous humor from the inner limiting membrane of the retina. It is commonly associated with aging. The PVD results from the gel becoming more liquid which can place traction on the peripheral retina resulting in pathology and retinal complications. Posterior vitreous detachment is estimated to occur in two-thirds of those older than 65 years. A PVD can be observed by OCT to begin as early as the first and second decade of life. It begins in the mid-peripheral vitreous, most frequently in the superior quadrants.
- A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a separation of the vitreous humor and retina.
- Age, high amounts of myopia, and cataract surgery are significant risk factors for a PVD.
- No treatments exist for a vitreous detachment.
Understanding Vitreous Detachment
A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is the separation of the vitreous from the retina. A PVD is a benign event with few symptoms and no vision loss. However, a vitreous detachment may result in a retina tear or detachment which may cause vision loss. New symptoms warrant a visit to the eye doctor.
Risk Factors for Vitreous Detachment
Age is the biggest risk factor for a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). It is estimated to occur in two-thirds of those older than 65 years. Myopia is the second greatest risk factor. Studies show a PVD develops at a significantly younger age in eyes with high myopia compared with non-highly myopic eyes, which suggests PVD-related retinal pathologies occur at a younger age in highly myopic patients. In addition, cataract surgery leads to changes in the vitreous humor that may lead to a vitreous detachment.
Vitreous Detachment Symptoms
- Cobweb-like floaters
- Flashes of light in the periphery
- Weiss ring, a circle or oval floater
Diagnosing Vitreous Detachment
A diagnosis of vitreous detachment can be made by an eye doctor performing a dilated eye exam.
Vitreous Detachment Treatment
Currently, there are no treatments for a vitreous detachment. However, new onset of floaters warrants a dilated exam with an eye doctor. In rare cases, as the vitreous detaches, it can cause a retinal tear, which requires treatment.