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What Is Vitreous Detachment?

As we age, the vitreous inside the eye tends to shrink and may eventually separate from the inside surface of the eye. This is called a posterior vitreous detachment or PVD. When the vitreous pulls free from the eye, it is often accompanied by flashes of light and appearances of tiny black spots in the vision.

In general, PVDs are not dangerous, but in certain cases they can lead to more serious conditions. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to vision loss and may also lead to blindness. We recommend that anyone with symptoms of a posterior vitreous detachment should have an eye examination immediately to make sure that a more serious problem is not present.

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Vitreous Floaters

Small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision are called floaters. Most floaters are not dangerous and are caused by tiny pieces of tissue inside of the eye. When light hits these pieces of tissue, it creates shadows on the retina that appear to float across your field of vision. It may appear that these specks are on the front surface of your eye, but they are actually inside.

In most cases, floaters are no cause for alarm and no treatment is necessary; however, a sudden increase in new floaters may indicate a problem, and we recommend an eye examination if this occurs.