Flashes/floaters are symptoms of this age related condition.

Posterior Vitreal Detachment

Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a very common eye condition. It’s caused by natural changes to the vitreous gel which takes up the space inside the eye. Although PVD causes some frustrating symptoms it doesn’t cause pain, harm the eye or cause permanent loss of vision.

As you get older the vitreous in your eye becomes more watery, less gel-like and isn’t able to keep its usual shape. This causes it to move away from the retina at the back of the eye towards the centre of the eye.

Because these changes to the vitreous are natural, over 75% of people over 65 develop PVD. It’s not a sign of disease or eye health problem and any symptoms usually get better with time.

The early symptoms of PVD are very similar to the symptoms of a retinal detachment. It’s really important for you to get a professional diagnosis to confirm that the symptoms aren’t related to retinal detachment, which is a more serious condition. If you experience any of these symptoms you should arrange to have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist within 24 hours:

  • a sudden experience of floaters or an increase in their size and number
  • flashes of light and/or a change/increase in the flashing lights you experience
  • blurring of vision
  • a dark curtain moving up, down or across your vision.