Posterior Vitreous Detachment Symptoms

Nov 15, 2017 @ 10:00 AM — by Retina Associates, P.A.
Tagged with: Eye Care Eye Exam

Floaters in the field of visionPosterior vitreous detachment, or PVD, is a non-sight-threatening eye condition that commonly affects patients in their 60s or older. PVD develops when the vitreous gel that fills the eye separates from the retina at the back of the eye. Although PVD alone does not threaten vision long-term, in rare instances complications can develop that may put vision at risk. If other retinal conditions affecting the sensitive layer of nerves at the back of the eye develop, such as retinal detachment or a macular hole, then the health and function of the eyes can be threatened.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of PVD so that treatment can be sought. The experienced eye doctors at Retina Associates, P.A. can diagnose and monitor PVD to ensure that no further treatment is needed. Here, we go over some of the posterior vitreous detachment symptoms that our Kansas City, MO patients should be aware of so they know when to seek professional eye care.


Floaters are blurry shadows or spots of light that develop in a person’s field of vision. While floaters do not completely obscure vision, they can be bothersome, especially when they affect the center of vision. In some cases, floaters tend to settle at the side of a person’s vision. Often, floaters have an oval or circular shape, but they can also look like floating specks of dust, a swarm of small insects, or even the veins of a spider web. In most cases of PVD, floaters are mild and will dissipate on their own within a few months. However, if other complications develop, floaters will be more severe and persistent.


Most patients who experience floaters also suffer from flashes. Flashes appear as streaks of light across the field of vision. Like floaters, flashes tend to be mild in patients suffering from PVD. Flashes are not likely to be apparent at all during the day, but they may be more noticeable in the dark. Flashes typically last for just a few months before the vision settles back to normal. In rare cases of complications, flashes may be more severe and are likely to persist until appropriate treatment is provided.

Distorted Vision

In the majority of cases, PVD does not result in any side effects aside from flashes and floaters. In rare instances, patients report that their overall vision is distorted. The patient may experience blurry vision, partial loss of vision, tunnel vision, or sensitivity to light. If these symptoms develop, it is likely that a complication has developed. While roughly 85 percent of patients with PVD will heal in a matter of months, a small group of patients suffer from complications such as vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, or a macular hole. Our doctors can diagnose and treat these complications to preserve the health and function of the eye.

Contact Us

At Retina Associates, P.A., our experienced team of doctors can diagnose and treat a full range of retinal conditions. If you have noticed any changes in vision and are concerned about the health of your eyes, contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about our comprehensive eye care services.

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