Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Posterior vitreous detachment abbreviated as PVD is a common phenomenon that implies ageing of the vitreous gel and its separation from the retina. It usually presents with sudden onset of floaters. Floaters associated with PVD can be of any shape and size. However, the most typical floater is ‘C’ or ‘O’ shaped solitary floater which may be associated with numerous small tadpole shaped floaters. A sensation of seeing flashes of bright light is also commonly associated with PVD. If a retinal tear or detachment has formed, the symptoms can be worse including partial loss of vision.

What causes PVD?

PVD is commoner in myopia, after cataract surgery, eye trauma and uveitis and vitreous haemorrhage. Nevertheless, commonly there is no underlying cause.

What is the treatment of PVD?

Most patients with PVD do not require any treatment. However, due to the risk of retinal detachment, eye examination by a retinal surgeon is important due to rule out retinal tears or retinal detachment which should be promptly treated with laser or cryotherapy. If the symptoms of floaters are persistent and affect the quality of vision, vitrectomy may be considered.