The interior of the eye is filled with a gel like substance which is known as Vitreous. It helps the eye in maintaining a round shape. The surface of the retina is attached to the fibres that are intertwined in the vitreous. With age the vitreous slowly shrinks and fibres on the retinal surface are being pulled and break allowing the vitreous to separate and shrink from the retina. This detachment of the vitreous from retina is called vitreous detachment.
The shrinkage of vitreous causes floaters in the eye. Tiny strings that float into the field of vision are known as the floaters. Eye floaters usually do not cause any pain or discomfort. If you try to look at these shadows they appear to quickly dart out of the way. One of the common signs of vitreous detachments is appearance of small but sudden increase in the number of new floaters. The floaters are often circular or in a form of a bent line. Appearance of back specks is another other symptom of vitreous detachment.
Comprehensive dilated eye examination is done to diagnose the vitreous detachment. If not treated on time the vitreous detachment can cause vision loss. If you notice floaters or increase in the flashes of light you should immediately see your doctor.
No therapy is required for vitreous detachment when there are no retinal tears involved. Floaters become less noticeable as the vitreous detachment continues to liquefy with time. The symptoms disappear with time in most of the people. But in case of retinal tears, laser or cryopexy is usually recommended. Surgery will be indicated if the tear has progressed to a retinal detachment. If left untreated, a macular hole or detached retina can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye.
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