Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

Please read our important medical disclaimer.

What is premature vitreous detachment?

It sounds like you may have developed a "posterior vitreous detachment." This is a very common phenomenon where the vitreous humor separates from the retina. The vitreous is a solid gel when you are born, but gradually liquefies with aging. At a certain time, usually in the sixth or seventh decade of life, the vitreous has become a bag of fluid that sloshes around with eye movement and spontaneously pulls free from the retina. The patient may experience flashing lights and then floaters or a spider web phenomenon. When this occurs, the patient needs a dilated examination of the retina because, in rare cases, this can lead to a tearing or detachment of the retina that will require surgical treatment. However, in most cases, the symptoms gradually resolve over several weeks to months.

Answered by: Paul Sternberg Jr., MD Dr. Paul Sternberg

Categories: Eye Conditions

Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!

Answered: Aug 02, 2013

Pop needs to be configured.