Vitreous detachment


Vitreous liquis

What is the vitreous liquid?

The vitreous is a space at the back of the eye, between the lens and the retina and it is filled with a material resembling a transparent jelly. This material is called vitreous liquid. The vitreous has points where it is supported inside the eye.

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Vitreous detachment

What exactly is vitreous detachment?

As the years pass (aging), the vitreous liquid, due to a modification of the texture (becomes less solid – fluidized) or after the impact of exogenous factors (e.g. trauma) can be detached from its natural supports. As this happens, flashes (like lightning) are presented, black spots, moving particles or floaters. This phenomenon is called vitreous detachment.

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The detachment of the vitreous is in itself a dangerous threat to vision. Regardless of this, if someone displays symptoms that characterize it, they should immediately visit the eye doctor because they may accompany other severe conditions (e.g. retinal cracks or vitreous haemorrhage). This happens when the vitreoretinal connections are very strong and the detached vitreous tears the retina or cuts off its blood vessels. If the vitreous is completely detached from the retina, then the chances increase.


The main symptoms of vitreous detachment are:

  • floating shadows in areas of the visual field
  • floaters (floaters)
  • threads (like spider webs)
  • momentary flashes (flashing lights)
  • visual disturbances
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Is there a treatment?

In the case of posterior vitreous detachment there is no cure. The detachment is usually permanent and symptoms of the floaters and flashes may insist forever. A patient with vitreous detachment may undergo a retinal detachment as well due to lack of mechanical pressure at the point of detachment, or in the tractions created. Particular attention is needed, especially in the first month.

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You should not bend sharply, or lift many weights or make sudden movements. However if a crack is diagnosed in the retina then laser should be applied urgently in order to entrench the area and to not lead to complete detachment. Only in the (less common) case of retinal detachment, the only solution is surgery.