What causes posterior vitreous detachment?

Posterior vitreous detachment is caused by the normal shrinking of the vitreous, a gel-like substance in the eye that is attached to the retina in the back of your eye. Over time, microscopic fibrils collapse, the vitreous shrinks and may eventually pull away from the retina. This separation from the retina is termed posterior vitreous detachment or, more simply, vitreous detachment.

In addition to occurring as a result of normal aging, vitreous detachment may be caused by surgical procedures in the eye such as cataract surgery, by eye injury, or by severe head trauma.

What are the risk factors for posterior vitreous detachment?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing posterior vitreous detachment. Not all people with risk factors will get posterior vitreous detachment. Risk factors for posterior vitreous detachment include:

  • Age over 50 years
  • Nearsightedness
  • Vitreous detachment in the other eye
  • Vitreous hemorrhage
  • Vitreous inflammation

What is posterior vitreous detachment?

Posterior vitreous detachment, sometime simply called vitreous detachment, occurs when the vitreous, a gel-like substance attached to the retina in the back of the eye, shrinks and pulls away from the retina. By itself, vitreous detachment does not seriously affect your vision and usually does not require any treatment. However, vitreous detachment may make you more susceptible to retinal ... Read more about posterior vitreous detachmentintroduction


What are the symptoms of posterior vitreous detachment?

Symptoms of posterior vitreous detachment are usually minimal and might not be noticed at all. The most common symptoms are floating spots or shapes in your vision. If you are unsure if you have vitreous detachment, contact your ophthalmologist.

Common symptoms of posterior vitreous detachment

You may experience vitreous detachment symptoms daily or just once in a while... Read more about posterior vitreous detachmentsymptoms


How is posterior vitreous detachment treated?

Because posterior vitreous detachment usually does not produce serious symptoms or lead to serious complications, it is often left untreated. However, if the floating objects and spots associated with posterior vitreous detachment become bothersome, the vitreous may be surgically removed.

If you have posterior vitreous detachment, you should pay close attention to your symptoms, p... Read more about posterior vitreous detachmenttreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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