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What Is Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

The vitreous (a clear and gel-like transparent structure that fills the space in the middle of the eye) liquefies as we get older and the collagen fibres that form it tend to clump together and float in the resulting fluid.

These clusters of fibres can cast shadows on your retina, which you see as floaters. In most cases, floaters do not require treatment. However, in some cases and especially when of sudden onset, they may be a sign of Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD).

PVD becomes more common as we age or can appear at an earlier age in short-sighted people or after cataract surgery or trauma.

Any patient who experiences a sudden onset of floaters, they become more numerous or intrusive, flashes of light or a shadow in their visual field should be examined at the earliest by an Ophthalmologist, ideally a Vitreoretinal Surgeon.

Patients need to undergo a full retinal examination through dilated pupils which includes a slit-lamp Biomicroscopy and Indirect Ophthalmoscopy with scleral indentation. This is to rule out: retinal tears, retinal detachment, the need of treatment and to prevent loss of vision or blindness.