Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment Serious?

Eye conditions have a way of sounding complicated. What sounds complicated, especially as it pertains to our health, can also sound frightening. Posterior vitreous detachment may be a mouthful but, rest assured, a retinal specialist knows how to diagnose and treat this condition efficiently. The key is getting the right care at the right time.
Vitreous detachments can set off a sudden flurry of floaters. Floaters are the appearance of dark or lighted spots that travel across the field of vision. The condition is relatively common and can usually be treated successfully after a thorough, dilated eye exam confirms the extent of detachment.

What is Vitreous Detachment?

Between the lens and cornea at the front of the eye and the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye is a substantial area of space (80 percent of the total volume). This space is filled with what we call vitreous or vitreous fluid. The vitreous is typically gelatinous, somewhat like Jell-O. As we age, the collagen fibers that stabilize the vitreous to structures at the front and back of the eye begin to degrade. This deterioration of collagen subsequently causes the vitreous to break down into more of a liquid substance. The destabilized gel contracts and tugs on the retina. Sometimes tugging is all that happens but, in some instances, the vitreous separates from the retina altogether.

This Sounds Serious!

The thought of different structures in the eye separating sounds serious. We understand why. However, research has indicated that a detached vitreous is less of a concern than one may imagine. It is better for collagen fibers to disconnect than to remain attached and pull on the retina. When this happens, there is a risk that the retina could tear or separate from the back of the eye. It is these two issues that cause a concern for vision loss.

Retinal Tears and Detachments can be Treated

The team at VitreoRetinal Surgery has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal tears and detachments. We can also help our patients understand their risk for vitreous and retinal detachments.
We are proud to offer advanced retinal services to patients in Minneapolis, MN and surrounding cities. Call (800) VRS-2500 to schedule a visit with us.