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Vitreous separation

The eye is full of a special transparent gel called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes more strandy and clumpy, which we may perceive as floaters. The vitreous may pull away from the back inner wall of the eye and collapse forward (a vitreous separation or a vitreous detachment). In and of itself, a vitreous separation is harmless.

Some patients may, however, develop a retinal tear around the time of the vitreous separation. This tear needs to be treated with "tack down laser" to prevent a retinal detachment.

The symptoms of a vitreous separation may come on suddenly, but a vitreous separation may evolve over weeks or months. The vitreous may not pull away completely from the back of the eye with the initial symptoms. Generally, Dr. Dahr will check you at least twice over 1-2 months for a vitreous separation. However, if symptoms return or worsen (flashes, floaters, dark curtains or shadows creeping into the vision from the side or from above or from below) please call the office so that we may re-check you for any newly developing retinal tears.

Click here to read information from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health on a vitreous separation or vitreous detachment.