The interior of our eyes are filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that is attached to the retina. This gel can shrink or separate, causing the vitreous membrane to detach from the retina resulting in a Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

Symptoms of Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Early warning signs of posterior vitreous detachment include:

  • A sudden increase in floaters (small flecks) in the eye
  • Light flashes that have been described as “a sparkle or twinkle” or “a disco light”
  • Decreased vision in very rare situations

Causes of Posterior Vitreous Detachment

As a person gets older, the vitreous gel in the eye starts shrink and can collapse causing the vitreous to detach from the retina. This is known as a posterior Vitreous Detachment. This is common in people above the age of 50, with greater risks after the age of 70.

Other risk factors include nearsightedness, certain surgeries such as cataract surgery, infection or inflammation in the back of the eye or trauma to the eye.

Treatments for Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Most people who develop a posterior vitreous detachment will not experience further complications. These patients may still experience floaters. A small number of patients with posterior vitreous detachment will also have a retina tear, causing a Retinal Detachment.

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