Posterior vitreous detachment usually results from normal,
age-related changes in the vitreous gel. But PVD can also result from eye
injury or inflammation caused by surgery or disease. PVD most commonly is seen
in people age 60 and older. But it may begin to occur as early as about age 40. And it becomes increasingly common after age 50.
Macular dystrophy is a rare, genetic eye disorder that causes vision loss.
Macular dystrophy affects the retina in the back of the eye. Specifically, it leads to damage of cells in an area in the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for central vision. When the macula is damaged, people have difficulty seeing straight ahead. This makes it difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities that require fine, central vision.
In macular dystrophy, a pigment builds up in cells...
As you age, the vitreous gel in the middle of your eye begins to
change. The gel's normal structure breaks down in a process called syneresis.
Parts of the gel shrink and lose fluid. The fluid collects in pockets in the
middle of the eye, and thick strands of the gel form and drift through the eye.
These strands appear as floaters.
Sometimes these changes cause the vitreous gel to shrink suddenly and
separate from the retina. This is called posterior vitreous detachment.
Posterior vitreous detachment usually does not cause any problems,
but it can sometimes cause tears in the retina. At points where the vitreous
gel is strongly attached to the retina, the gel can pull so hard on the
retina-a process called traction-that it tears the retina. The tear then allows
fluid to collect under the retina and may lead to a retinal detachment.
The main symptoms of PVD are
floaters and flashes of light. It is important to pay
attention to these symptoms. A sudden change in these symptoms could be a
warning sign of a retinal tear or detachment.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
August 7, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 07, 2011
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