• What do the flashes of light after my posterior vitreous detachment mean?


    Question:

    I am 60 and just had a symptomatic right eye posterior vitreous detachment (or PVD, when the gel in the middle of the eye shrinks and separates from the back of the eye). My retina specialist says he can see where a small hemorrhage (bleeding) occurred near the front of the eye on its right side. I’m still seeing peripheral sparks (flashes of light) two months later (though roughly reduced by two thirds in intensity) appearing to my right indicating continued vitreous tugging on the eye's left side. Do the sparks indicate that I have a high chance of another tear on the other side?


    Answer:

    The persistence of "peripheral sparks" suggests that there still may be some pulling of the vitreous on the retina, so you need to continue to be evaluated periodically by your retina specialist and need to see him promptly if your symptoms worsen, especially if you develop new floaters or a shadow across your vision. However, there is little correlation between the location of the “sparks" and the location of the vitreous adherence or whether any specific area of the retina is at greater risk.


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