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Posterior Vitreous Detachment

There is a thin film that sits on top of the retina behind the back of the eyes called the posterior hyaloid membrane. As we age, the vitreous, which is the jelly like substance that fills the inside of the eye, becomes more liquid. This means that this vitreous is less able to support the hyaloid membrane and it separates from the retina, floating around within the eye.

Most people see a black blob drifting around in-front of their vision as the detached membrane casts a shadow on the back of the eyes. Most people describe the floaters as a 'fly' or 'cobwebs' in-front of their eyes. Some people experiences 'flashes' of light, which indicates that there is a connection still between the hyaloid membrane and the retina. This type of symptom needs to be watched more carefully as this pulling or traction of the connection to the retina can cause a tear in the retina.

Flashes normally disappear after a few days, but the floaters usually remain for life. Your brain will gradually get more used to the floaters and try to do its best to ignore them.

The PVD on its own is of no concern to your eye health. If there are abnormal adhesions between the retina and the hyaloid face, holes or tears in the retina treatment may be needed. If the retina has detached then urgent treatment is required.

A thorough eye examination through dilated pupils is required.