May 7, 2015

Posted by in Eye Care | Comments Off on 50 Years Old or Older? Know the Symptoms for Vitreous and Retinal Detachments

50 Years Old or Older? Know the Symptoms for Vitreous and Retinal Detachments

50 Years Old or Older?  Know the Symptoms for Vitreous and Retinal Detachments

The vitreous is a gel-like substance that comprises over three-fourths of your eyeball’s volume and helps maintain its round shape. Healthy vitreous is clear but intertwined with millions of fibers that attach to the surface of the retina at the back of the eye. The vitreous changes as we age, and the fibers in it often break, allowing the vitreous to shrink and separate from the retina. This occurrence is called vitreous detachment, which in most cases does not threaten sight, except for fleeting—and usually minor—disruptions in vision due to “floaters” (clumps of fibers that cast shadows) or flashes of light.

Once in a while, however, the vitreous fibers pull hard enough on the retina to cause a retinal detachment, which—unlike vitreous detachment—poses a significant threat to vision and may require vitreous surgery or other surgical procedures.

Symptoms of Vitreous Detachment and Retinal Detachment
The deterioration of the vitreous usually begins around the age of 50, with vitreous detachment becoming increasingly common as age increases. You are at even greater risk for vitreous detachment if you are nearsighted or have already experienced vitreous detachment in your other eye. Since vitreous detachment may, in turn, make you more susceptible to retinal detachment and other serious eye disorders, understanding the progression of symptoms of vitreous and retinal detachments can assist you in addressing your eye health concerns.

Common symptoms of vitreous detachment include:
* Seeing dark floating spots, threads or shapes
* Seeing flashes of light peripherally
* Related symptoms that may suggest a condition requiring immediate vitreous surgery or other emergency treatments include:
* A sudden increase in the number or frequency of flashes of light
* A sudden shower of what appear to be hundreds of small black dots across your field of vision
* Blind spots or sudden vision loss
* Blurred or double vision
* Shadows in your peripheral field of vision
* A persistent curtain effect across part of your visual field

Call Your Grand Rapids Ophthalmologist with Any Concerns
While treatment for vitreous detachment is rarely necessary, many eye conditions do require medical and surgical treatments like laser procedures, lens implants and vitreous surgery. Grand Rapids Ophthalmology, with offices throughout western Michigan, is a full service eye care practice offering the best in optical, medical and surgical solutions for your eye and vision needs.

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