Posterior vitreous detachment

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Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is a common condition which occurs in about 75% of people over 65 years old. As people get older,  the vitreous (a jelly structure inside the eye) starts to become more liquid and peels away from the retina. As it comes away from the retina, it will create  symptoms of PVD.

Symptoms of PVD:

  • No symptoms
  • Floaters in the vision (usually settle down after 3 months as the brain adapts to it and only becomes a problem in bright light)
  • Flashing light (caused by vitreous pulling on retina, stimulating it and creating a flashing light sensation)

Why is it important to have your eyes examined by an optician or eye doctor if there are floaters in your vision?

Occasionally during the process of PVD, a retinal tear can form which may lead to retinal detachment (retina coming off) and visual loss.

What are the warning signs of retinal detachment?

  • Increase in size and number of your floaters
  • Change / increase in the flashing lights you experience
  • Blurring of vision.
  • Dark “curtain” falling across the vision (important sign that retina is detaching)

If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek urgent medical advice within 24 hours. For more information on retinal detachment, please see the Retinal Detachment section.

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