What is a vitreous detachment of the eye?

The eye is filled with a gel like substance called vitreous.  The vitreous is attached in places to the retina which is the lining of the inside of the back of the eye.  Sometimes the vitreous can partially liquefy and become detached from the retina.  This is a benign condition that either has no symptoms or symptoms of floating spots in the eye(floaters).  Occasionally a vitreous detachment can be associated with a tear in the retina or even a retinal detachment.  This requires evaluation and treatment by an Eye M.D.  Therefore, any new onset floaters need to be evaluated immediately.
Vitreous detachment is a common condition that is caused by age-related changes in the clear gel of the eye called the vitreous. The symptoms of a vitreous detachment include a sudden change in floaters or flashing lights. Although the floaters can sometimes interfere with vision, usually vision is not significantly affected. The main concern with a vitreous detachment is the possibility of a retinal tear which can lead to a retinal detachment. Therefore, a vitreous detachment requires a detailed eye exam by an ophthalmologist.

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