• Posterior Vitreous Detachment and Floaters


    Last week I had flashes and floaters suddenly appear in my right eye. I visited an ophthalmologist immediately who found no retinal tear but did see a bleed where the vitreous had torn away from the retina. I've ended up with a stream of cell-like floaters and a big curled floater—very irritating! The ophthalmologist said that these would probably "self-resolve." My question is this: Is it probable that the cell-like floaters and the bigger floater will disappear? If so, how long might it be before that happens?


    First of all, rest assured that this is normal after some blood cells are released into the vitreous gel at the back of the eye. This will usually slowly dissipate over a few months and sometimes as much as a year or more depending on the amount of blood that must resorb. If they remain longer than this and interfere with vision, it is possible for a retina specialist to perform a vitrectomy which can remove these cells.

    After the initial diagnosis of a posterior vitreous detachment, however, it is recommended to have a follow-up exam with your ophthalmologist at three to six weeks and sooner if there is a sudden onset of new floaters or a sudden change in vision.

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