Vitreous detachment, a condition in which the clear jelly-like substance in the eye pulls away from the back of the eye (called the retina), most often results in a sudden appearance of floaters and light flashes. Vitreous detachment is not in and of itself a cause for alarm. But it does need to be evaluated, because sometimes vitreous detachment can lead to complications like retinal tears or detachment, which do require urgent treatment to save vision.

If you experience the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes of light, you may be experiencing vitreous detachment, and should schedule an eye exam at California Retina Associates. If our San Diego vitreous detachment treatment team confirms a diagnosis, we can review your treatment options with you.

Vitreous Detachment Diagnosis

First, it’s important to make sure that you have actually suffered a vitreous detachment and determine whether you are also at risk of retinal detachment or retinal tears.

We will listen to your description of symptoms and see if they match the most common symptoms of vitreous detachment. We will conduct a thorough dilated eye exam. We will look at your vitreous for traces of blood, which can be a sign of vitreal hemorrhage, which is more often associated with retinal tears. We will also examine your retina to see if there is any evidence that clinging vitreous has caused retinal tears. About 20% of people with vitreous detachment also have retinal tears. We may need to perform additional testing, such as optical coherence tomography or ocular ultrasound to detect vitreous detachment.

If the retina is obscured by blood in the vitreous, ultrasonography may be used to determine whether you have any retinal tears or detachments.

San Diego Vitreous Detachment Treatment

Because vitreous detachment is not in and of itself a vision-threatening condition, it may not require any treatment. If you have residual clouding, such as from blood in the vitreous, we will recommend reduced activity and sleeping with your head elevated to allow the blood to settle out.

Most of the time, the symptoms resolve on their own within a few months. However, to be safe our San Diego vitreous detachment treatment team likes to monitor patients for up to three months after the onset of vitreous detachment, to ensure there are no complications.

However, up to 5% of people who have vitreous detachment but no retinal tears or detachment will develop them within the next few weeks. It’s important that you be aware of the symptoms of retinal detachment and retinal tears and contact us if you experience any of them.

If you do have a retinal detachment, we can begin retinal detachment treatment.

Contact California Retina Associates

At California Retina Associates, we have assembled a nationally-recognized team of eye doctors to handle your retinal conditions. We have the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology available, which allows us to not only provide whatever treatment you need to protect your vision, but also to know when no treatment is necessary.

If you suspect you have suffered vitreous detachment and are in San Diego or the surrounding areas, please contact California Retina Associates today.