Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain a round shape. It’s attached to the retina by fine fibers. As we age, vitreous slowly shrinks and these fine fibers pull on the retinal surface. When the fibers break, the vitreous separates from the retina. This is vitreous detachment.
In most cases, a vitreous detachment, also known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment. It often affects people over age 50, and is very common after age 80. People who are nearsighted are also at increased risk. Those who have a vitreous detachment in one eye are likely to have one in the other, although it may not happen until years later.
As the vitreous shrinks, little “cobwebs,” increased floaters or flashes of light are common.
Although a vitreous detachment does not threaten sight, once in a while some of the vitreous fibers pull so hard on the retina that they create a macular hole or lead to a retinal detachment. Both of these conditions are sight threatening and should be treated immediately.
The only way to diagnose the cause of the problem is by a comprehensive dilated eye examination. If the vitreous detachment has led to a macular hole or detached retina, early treatment can help prevent loss of vision. Call 321-727-2020 to schedule a dilated eye exam, especially if you’ve recently had a sudden increase in floaters and flashes.
Regular eye exams are the best way to detect such conditions early and address them before they develop into more serious problems. To schedule an eye exam or a consultation for cornea surgery, call 321-727-2020.