An explanation of posterior vitreous detachment

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Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is somehow not so serious because this eye disease only involves the vitreous humor, which has been pulled off from the back of the eye. If this pulling of vitreous is safe and under proper control, there will not be a retinal detachment. Retinal detachment means that the retina is also pulled off from the back of the eye.

Epi-retinal membrane may be caused by PVD

Some doctors consider the clingy interface between the vitreous and retina as a plastic wrap, which is responsible for maintaining the retina flat. Once this interface is pulled away from the normal position, it will start to shrink and leads to another common condition named epi-retinal membrane (ERM).

Macular hole is also associated with retina tearing

Some patients may experience a hole in the middle of their vision. The formal name of this condition is macular hole, which is exactly caused by tearing in the center vision of the retina. Currently, this disease can be monitored simply by using an Amsler Grid. Scar tissue may occur if there is wrinkling in the interface of the retina and the vitreous. This wrinkling happens in a similar way as a sleeve when it is lifted up.

Common symptoms of PVD

Vitreous detachment in some cases brings noticeable floaters in the eyes, which are more visible in bright conditions that have strong contrast. This is the most obvious sadness of the disease. Of course, these floaters will more or less affect the patient’s vision perception. Fortunately, the brain will gradually adapt to this situation and the optic nerve system will then ignore these annoying floaters. Due to the pulling on the retina, PVD patients may also experience flashes when they move the eyes. Moreover, there are possibly multiple floating visual spots in the eyes.

Retinal detachment may follow

Visual distortion and difficulty stated above are not the only consequence of PVD. This eye disease may lead to a quite more serious consequence. More specifically, people with posterior vitreous detachment suffer higher risks of retinal detachment (RD). The reason is that there are changes in vitreous humor anyway. In detail, posterior vitreous detachment causes some changes in the optic nerve. A Weiss’s ring over the head of the optic nerve is always formed by PVD. The rim of the optic nerve head releases attachments, which explains the ring shape. This ring is large and condensed, in contrast to typically stringy and unshaped floaters. These changes brought by PVD do increase the risk of retinal detachment, in which the outer retinal pigment epithelium splits from the neural retina.