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A 58-year-old female asked:

i have a posterior vitreous detachment. will the floaters/blurriness improve with time? what is the likelihood of it becoming a retinal detachment?

4 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology 27 years experience
Floaters: Most common it is recommended to have an immediate exam when they first occur to rule out retinal detachment. Wait a year and if they are still symptomatic then consider a vitrectomy to remove the vitreous and floaters. Most cases the floaters and blurriness will clear. Pvd is typically the cause of a retinal detachment, but the chance is about 1 in 5000.
Dr. Thomas Henderson
Ophthalmology 48 years experience
vitreous detachment: The fluid that fills the back of the eye ages like everything else. When it detaches, the area that held onto the optic nerve moves in front of the retina casting a shadow that you see as a floater. It has no way of leaving the eye but will gradually move to a less annoying position and you will learn to ignore it, mostly. The risk of retinal tear is 1 in 50; detachment is about 1 in 1000.
Dr. Jeffrey Whitman
Ophthalmology 45 years experience
Yes: This floating bits of the vitreous jelly will dissolve over time but can take, weeks, months or years to do so. Rarely will be followed by a retinal detachment but can be a sign of one---always have a dilated eye exam to check for retinal problems when these types of symptoms begin.
Dr. Bruce Saran
Ophthalmology 33 years experience
Low chance: The gel that fills eye attaches to the inside of the eye. With age it can becomes more liquid & detaches from the back of the retina causing your floater that improves with time (few months). This can also result in a retinal tear (1/10, 000-1/15, 0000) or a retinal detachment (12.5/100, 000). Higher after eye surgery. See your eye doctor to check the retina for this or hemorrhage (blood).

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Last updated Jan 10, 2020
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