What Is a Posterior Vitreous Detachment?
How is PVD treated?
If a PVD happens normally without any damage to the retina, no treatment is needed. If a retinal tear happens during a PVD, treatment is usually needed. Your ophthalmologist will seal the retina to the wall of the eye using a laser or cryopexy (freezing treatment).
Who Is at Risk for PVD?
What Are Symptoms of a PVD?
Most people with a PVD will not notice any symptoms. Some with PVD will have the following symptoms:
What causes a PVD?
As we age, the vitreous changes. It becomes less solid and more liquid-like. It shrinks and pulls away from the back of the eye. The vitreous is attached to the retina by millions of microscopic fibers. When enough of these fibers break, the vitreous separates completely from the retina, causing a PVD.
For most people, a PVD is a benign (harmless) event with no symptoms and no vision loss. Others may notice a lot of floaters. Floaters can be bothersome but usually become less noticeable over time.
For a small amount of people having a PVD, problems occur when the vitreous detaches from the retina. The vitreous pulls too hard from the back of the eye and takes a piece of the underlying tissue (the retina) with it. This is called a retinal tear. It can lead to a retinal detachment, which can cause permanent loss of vision.
Most people don’t know they are having a PVD. But if you notice a lot of floaters or flashes of light suddenly, or have a decrease in vision, see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. These symptoms can be normal, but they can also mean that you have a retinal tear or retinal detachment. You won’t be able to tell the difference but an ophthalmologist can. If a retinal tear or retinal detachment is treated early enough by an ophthalmologist, you can save your vision.