Vitreous detachment

Vitreous Detachment: Causes, Consequences and Treatment

The vitreous detachment is a gelatinous substance that fills the cavity between the retina and the posterior face of the lens. It is transparent since it has to let light through the retina. And, also fulfills other missions, such as maintaining the shape of the eyeball.


As for its composition, the vitreous humor contains water, collagen fibers, hyaluronic acid, and some cells, all wrapped by a membrane called hyaloid.


There are circumstances that cause the vitreous humor to become more liquid. It acquires greater mobility and loses the points of attachment or anchorage with the retina, producing vitreous detachment.


Causes of vitreous detachment

Among the leading causes that can lead to a vitreous detachment, we can highlight the following:

  • Age, especially after 50 years.
  • High myopia, also called High Myopia or Myopia Magna.
  • Trauma or severe eye contusions.
  • Eye surgery, such as cataract surgery.
  • Inflammatory processes as occurs, for example, with uveitis, which inflammation of the uvea or intermediate layer of the eye.

Symptoms of this eye problem

The symptoms of vitreous detachment that patients refer most frequently are, fundamentally:

1. Myodesopsias or flying flies:

They are small particles of the gelatinous substance in which the vitreous humor consists and that, in this case, do not dissolve, but remain floating in its central part. The patient perceives them as dark spots that can take different forms (such as threads, dots, etc.) as a web.

These spots appear suddenly when bright areas are looked at, and, also, they move at the same time as the eyes move so that they remain floating in front of the visual field.


2. Photopsies or light flashes:
They are like flashes or semi-circular lights that last for seconds and are seen, especially at night, where there is low light.


3. Blurry vision


Vitreous detachment treatment

Given that vitreous detachment is not dangerous in itself and usually takes place without significant complications. Treatment, as such, is not necessary in principle, although it will, in any case, require periodic ophthalmologic check-ups to monitor its evolution.

Vitreous detachment

Generally and in response to a process of visual adaptation, after some time, the spots are no longer perceived.


Despite this, if the patient could not tolerate them or were too bothersome, the possibility of performing a vitrectomy could be assessed. It is the technique whose objective is the elimination of all the gelatinous substance from the eye. The treatment will be replaced, where appropriate, by a solution transparent and sterile.


However, it can also happen that vitreous detachment causes a hole or tear in the retina. It will be essential to intervene with a laser to create a protective barrier around the affected area.


It is essential to know that once the symptoms of vitreous detachment appear in one eye. Also, the risk of presenting in the other is more significant.


In short, we can consider early diagnosis as a fundamental element in preventing retinal detachment and, consequently, the production of much more severe consequences for sight than vitreous detachment

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