What is Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD)?

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is a condition in which the vitreous separates from the retina towards the rear of the eye. The vitreous or vitreous humor is a transparent gel that fills the inside of your eye. The vitreous helps maintain the shape of your eye. It is mainly composed of water and a protein known as collagen.

This separation is produced by changes in the vitreous gel in your eye. PVD is not painful and does not result in blindness, although you may experience floaters (little black patches or forms) and flashing lights.

These floaters will often subside when your brain becomes accustomed to ignoring them. With time, you should be able to see as well as you did before the onset of your PVD.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment symptoms are similar to those of another eye illness known as retinal detachment, which requires immediate treatment to prevent you from losing part or all of your vision in your eye. It is critical to have your eyes tested within 24 hours after recognizing any symptoms of retinal detachment to obtain an appropriate diagnosis.

  • Symptoms Of Retinal Detachment
  • Flashes of light
  • Lots of new “floaters” (tiny flecks or threads in your vision)
  • Darkness or a “curtain” over your vision, including the middle or the sides

One in ten patients develop a retinal tear

Around one in ten patients with posterior vitreous detachment develop a retinal tear, which can progress to a retinal detachment if left untreated. If detected early, a retinal rupture or detachment can be effectively treated. However, the vast majority of patients who are diagnosed with PVD will not experience a retinal tear or detachment.

What causes Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

When you look at anything, light travels through the vitreous and is focused on the retina in the back. It is typical for the vitreous to grow waterier and less gel-like as you age. When the vitreous becomes too soft and loses its form, it can pull away from the retina and collapse into the center of the eye.

These alterations are not indicative of another ocular health issue. While most persons with PVD are over the age of 50, it is possible to get PVD in your 40s or even earlier if you are near-sighted or have had an eye injury.

What are the symptoms of PVD?

PVD manifests itself in a variety of ways:

  • Floaters for the first time or an increase in the number of floaters you previously had
  • Light flashes in your eyesight that may become more severe
  • The appearance of a huge cobweb-like floater over your view
  • Distorted vision

You may have any or all of these symptoms as your PVD progresses. You may be acutely aware of them or unconcerned by them. Your symptoms may last a few weeks or up to six months. During this time, your floaters and light flashes will progressively subside and become less noticeable to you.

You may be aware of your floaters for many months or even a year, although this is rarer. This is not to say that there is something wrong with your eyes. However, if you are concerned about persistent symptoms, consult Arizona Retinal Specialist, and we will give you a thorough examination.

Which medical examinations should you undergo?

Your retinal specialist will first assess your vision before dilation (widening) your pupils with drops. The drops take around 30 minutes to act and will cause impaired vision and increased sensitivity to light.

Your dilated pupils will enable us to see more clearly inside your eyes and determine if you have had a PVD, as well as to inspect your retina for holes or tears. We use a specialized microscope called a slit lamp and will ask you to gaze in various directions so that your eyes may be inspected thoroughly under the slit lamp’s intense light.

The light from the slit lamp will not harm your eyes. It seems incredibly bright due to the size of your pupils. After around six hours or overnight, your pupils will revert to their usual size. You should avoid driving until the drops have worn off.

PVD symptoms that persist after time


Floaters are pretty prevalent, and many people, including those who do not have PVD, have them. They are innocuous aggregates of cells that develop when the vitreous gets waterier. They are visible because they cast shadows on the retina as light enters your eye.

Floaters come in various shapes and sizes – they might be dots that resemble insects, threads, rings, clouds, or cobwebs. You may notice that your floaters move about a lot or appear to move very little at all. They may be more noticeable on a bright day or when viewing a bright computer screen.

You may have a few floaters or a large number. Floaters may emerge unexpectedly or in large numbers, and they may be highly annoying or frightening. While you may believe that your floaters will constantly obstruct your vision while they are at their most noticeable, for the majority of individuals, they grow less noticeable over time as your brain learns to ignore them. If more floaters appear in your eye over time, this may lengthen the time required for your brain to adjust.

You can assist your brain in developing the ability to disregard your floaters.

Several brief bursts of light

When the vitreous pushes away from the retina, the retina responds by delivering a signal to the brain. Your brain interprets this signal as a brief flash of light, which you will frequently notice more in low light or darkness. These flashes of light will not last as long as floaters, and they will likely become far less frequent after the vitreous has wholly detached from the retina.

Having Symptoms of Posterior Vitreous Detachment?

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above of vitreous or retinal detachment, please schedule an appointment online ASAP with Arizona Retinal Specialists or call 623-474-3937. We look forward to providing you with the individualized attention that you deserve.



www.arizonaretinalspecialists.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on www.arizonaretinalspecialists.com