• Posterior Vitreous Detachment


    Question:

    What is premature vitreous detachment?


    Answer:

    It sounds like you may have developed a "posterior vitreous detachment." This is a very common phenomenon where the vitreous humor separates from the retina. The vitreous is a solid gel when you are born, but gradually liquefies with aging. At a certain time, usually in the sixth or seventh decade of life, the vitreous has become a bag of fluid that sloshes around with eye movement and spontaneously pulls free from the retina. The patient may experience flashing lights and then floaters or a spider web phenomenon. When this occurs, the patient needs a dilated examination of the retina because, in rare cases, this can lead to a tearing or detachment of the retina that will require surgical treatment. However, in most cases, the symptoms gradually resolve over several weeks to months.


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