Can PVD cause other eye conditions?

In a small number of cases an acute PVD can lead to a retinal tear. This happens when your vitreous, which is firmly attached to the surface of the retina, tugs quite strongly on the retina as it pulls away. In a few people this may lead to a retinal tear which in turn could lead to a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment can cause sight loss. Retinal tears and detachments are much rarer conditions and only a very few people with PVD go on to develop either of these.
When you have your PVD examined the eye specialist (ophthalmologist) will look for any complications and will advise you of symptoms to look out for.
For more information about retinal detachment, please call our Helpline on (+44) 303 123 9999.

Treating a retinal tear or detachment

Even though a retinal tear or detachment is a serious condition, it can be treated. Early treatment of a retinal tear may prevent it turning into a retinal detachment. Early treatment of a retinal detachment increases your chances of getting a good level of vision back.
It is important to realise that in nearly all cases a PVD does not cause a retinal detachment.

Floaters without PVD

Floaters are very common. Many people have floaters without PVD or any underlying eye condition or problem, and these are nothing to worry about. However, a few patients may develop floaters as part of a disease, for example inflammation in the eye. You should always have new floaters or an increase in floaters checked by an eye specialist as soon as possible in case they are symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment, or other condition.

Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome

Some people may have problems with serious long-term floaters, which are sometimes diagnosed as Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome (DVS). DVS describes the stage when the vitreous begins to become more watery, a process called syneresis, but without the vitreous detaching from the retina. DVS often turns into PVD when the vitreous begins to peel away from the retina. DVS causes the frustrating and upsetting symptoms of serious floaters. An organisation called One Clear Vision provides information and support to people living with DVS. Their contact details can be found at the end of this information.

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