Posterior vitreous detachment

Eyes | Ophthalmology | Posterior vitreous detachment (Disease)


Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a change in your eye which does not normally cause sight loss. It is very common and most of us will develop it at some point in our lives.

Although it can cause some frustrating symptoms, it does not cause pain, harm the eye, or change the way the eye works. In the vast majority of cases, PVD will not lead to long term changes in your vision.

Causes and Risk factors

As you get older the various structures that make up your eye change; this includes the vitreous gel. The vitreous is made up mainly of water and collagen and it has a stiff, jelly-like consistency. As you age the vitreous becomes more watery, less jelly-like and isnt able to keep its usual shape. As a result, it begins to move away from the retina at the back of the eye towards the centre of the eye.

A PVD is a natural change that occurs in the eye. Over 75 per cent of the population over the age of 65 develop a PVD, and it is not uncommon for it to develop in someones 40s or 50s. PVD is not a sign of a disease or eye health problem. For most of us a PVD happens naturally as we get older.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The eye may be dilated to look at the retina with an ophthalmoscope. An ophthalmologist may do a special exam with a gonioscope lens. An ultrasound of the eye may be performed.

Treatment is usually not necessary if there is no associated retinal tear or detachment. If PVD is associated with a posterior vitreous hemorrhage the surgeon may observe the situation or elect to remove the blood. ...