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Floaters, flashing lights and posterior vitreous detachment (PVD)

To understand what a posterior vitreous detachment consists of, we must first talk about the structure of the interior of the eye in which it occurs. The vitreous humor is the transparent gel that occupies the inner eye cavity, specifically between the retina and the posterior part of the lens. This gel is composed mostly of water, collagen fibers, hyaluronic acid, and some cells and all this is surrounded by a membrane called hyaloid.
Vitreous detachment occurs, generally, when with age this substance becomes more liquid and acquires mobility and thus causes the hyaloid to separate spontaneously from the retina. This situation occurs more frequently in people older than 65 years.

When the vitreous is detached, in case that symptoms occur, the most frequent is the appearance of “floaters” that are seen suddenly when looking at clear areas and move with the movement of the eyes. This may be due to the vitreous being adhered through the hyaloid to the retina and when detached it can cause small vitreous bleedings or because the junction between the hyaloid and the optic nerve (Weiss ring) becomes visible as opacity.

Despite the annoying vitreous opacities (flying flies or floating bodies) that may appear as a result of detachment, this circumstance is generally innocuous and does not require treatment. The most frequent is that, after a while, we stop visualizing these opacities. If not, the possibility of applying laser vitreolysis to dissolve the vitreous floaters that impede correct vision could be assessed.

Ophthalmological treatment is required in cases in which the movement of the vitreous gel and its separation cause holes or tears that damage the retina. In these cases an Argon laser treatment is applied that generates a barrier around the affected area of the retina and reinforces it.

At Harley Street Hospital, we have the best doctors to diagnose and treat this pathology. Book a consultation to get a specialist´s opinion.

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