If there is no accompanying tear in the retina, no treatment is needed for a posterior vitreous detachment, according to Cleveland Clinic. However, if the retina is torn, the damage is typically repaired with a laser or freezing treatment. A detached retina requires surgery.
About two-thirds of the eye consists of vitreous gel, states Cleveland Clinic. It holds the eye's shape, absorbs shock, lets light reach the retina and connects the retina to the back of the eye. In PVD, this substance turns to liquid and moves away from the retina. This is a normal occurrence as people age.
With posterior vitreous detachment, floaters or spots appear in the field of vision, Cleveland Clinic reports. Though these particles were always in the eye, they become more obvious as the gel liquefies. Flashes of light are another symptom of PVD. This happens when the remaining vitreous gel pulls on the retina as the eye moves. Occasionally, vision is reduced.
By the time they reach 70 years old, most people have posterior vitreous detachment, says Cleveland Clinic. If it occurs in one eye, chances are high for the other eye to follow suit. People are more likely to develop PVD if they have had cataract surgery, are nearsighted, have an eye injury, or experience bleeding or inflammation in the eye.