8 Questions You Have About Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Senior man getting a regular eye exam

Every person’s eyes contain a gel-like liquid, called vitreous, that changes for many reasons. It can happen naturally as you get older, due to disease, or because of an injury. Your eyesight is essential in just about every aspect of your life, so it is vital to have your eyes examined regularly to identify any issues that may arise. Regular eye care and eye exams can detect and help correct many eye problems early on, including issues related to the vitreous, like Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is a naturally occurring and detectable condition in the vitreous that usually happens after age 50 or alongside an eye injury. At Campus Eye Center, we have helped many patients navigate what to do when exhibiting signs of PVD. Continue reading for information about Posterior Vitreous Detachment and what to do if you are experiencing symptoms of PVD.

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1. What is Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

Posterior Vitreous Detachment occurs when the vitreous gel in your eye becomes more watery and deflates in the eye cavity. This deflation creates a breakage of the gel from the tiny fibers that hold it in place against your retina and optic nerve. This condition generally occurs after age 50 and affects women and men equally in symptoms and occurrences.

Symptoms of PVD include blurred vision, eye floaters, and flashes of light that occur around the sides of your vision field. While these symptoms can occur without having PVD, if they are regularly occurring or you see an increase in occurrence, it’s time to schedule an eye exam and speak with your eye doctor as you may be suffering from PVD.

2. How Long Do Symptoms of Posterior Vitreous Detachment Last?

Since many symptoms of Posterior Vitreous Detachment are mild, you may not notice them at first. They may not ever become bothersome even as PVD progresses. Symptoms of PVD tend to last from a few weeks to a few months; currently, no direct medical treatment exists for PVD.

3. What Causes Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

As discussed earlier in this post, Posterior Vitreous Detachment happens when the vitreous gel in the eye cavity separates from the retina and optic nerve. This change in consistency of the vitreous gel occurs naturally over time as we age but can also occur after an eye injury.

Some risk factors may increase your chances of developing PVD:

  • Age, as this problem tends to affect those 50 and older most frequently
  • You are nearsighted
  • You have previously had eye surgery, like cataract surgery
  • You’ve experienced eye trauma in the past

Often, if PVD occurs in one eye, it will also happen in the other eye. You should still seek the advice of an eye care professional for the second eye, even if you had no trouble with the first one.

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4. How to Prevent Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

Posterior Vitreous Detachment is a naturally occurring eye problem that becomes more prevalent as you age or after an eye injury or surgery. Regular eye care and eye exams can help monitor potential PVD occurrences but cannot prevent them.

However, if you have PVD, you should limit activities that include heavy lifting or quick movements of your head. Serious complications can occur if your vitreous gel forcefully tears away from your retina instead of gradually pulling away. Blurry vision, detached retinas, or even a macular hole are all possibilities when the vitreous gel tears away too quickly.

5. Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment Serious?

Most patients experience mild and slow-changing symptoms, and Posterior Vitreous Detachment usually goes away after several months. However, if the separation of vitreous gel occurs too quickly, PVD can cause serious complications such as retinal tears or retinal detachment. These complications can cause vision loss, so you must visit your eye care professional if you notice any PVD symptoms.

6. Can Posterior Vitreous Detachment Cause Blindness?

Yes, posterior vitreous detachment can cause permanent blindness. You risk permanent vision loss if you experience retinal tears or retinal detachment. While this is a rare occurrence, it is still a possibility if you do not manage the symptoms of PVD correctly. Your eye care professional can help ensure you stay on track with regular exams while experiencing PVD.

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7. Can Posterior Vitreous Detachment Cause Vertigo?

Posterior Vitreous Detachment does not cause vertigo, but detached retina or retinal damage are associated with severe symptoms. You must reach out to your eye care professional if you are experiencing dizziness concurrently with PVD symptoms. They will work to assess if any retinal damage is present and what you can do to prevent any further damage.

8. How is Posterior Vitreous Detachment Treated?

Many symptoms of PVD are mild and do not require treatment, as they will likely go away on their own after a few months. Even so, ensuring that you are experiencing symptoms of PVD is still essential and not another eye problem. Contact your eye care professional to talk with them if you have any of these symptoms.

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If you are looking for Posterior Vitreous Detachment care for you or a family member, schedule an eye exam today with our highly trained and professional providers. Our eye care professionals at Campus Eye in Lancaster and Willow Street, PA, are here to help protect and preserve your vision.

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