Posterior Vitreous Detachment

The vitreous body is the gel inside the eye that maintains the structure of the eyeball and keeps the retina pressed on the choroid. The vitreous body is made up of collagen and water. With age it becomes less firm and less able to maintain its shape. Posterior vitreous detachment is a condition is where the vitreous gel comes away from the retina. It is very common, particularly in older patients.


Posterior vitreous detachment is a painless condition. It may be completely asymptomatic or patients may present with symptoms of:

  • Painless
  • Spots of vision loss
  • Floaters
  • Flashing lights



No treatment is necessary. Over time the symptoms will improve as the brain adjusts.

Posterior vitreous detachment can predispose patients to developing retinal tears and retinal detachment. They can also present very similarly.

It is essential to exclude and assess the risk of a retinal tear or detachment with a thorough assessment of the retina. This is usually done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.


Last updated April 2019
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