What is PVD?
In the human eye, the vitreous is the clear gel substance that fills the space between the retina and the lens. If this gel develops a condition or experiences disease or trauma, it can result in blurry vision and blindness. A posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a known condition in which the vitreous membrane separates from the retina. There are various explanations as to why this can occur, but the condition is more widely common for older adults, and over 75% of those over the age of 65 develop it. Research studies have also concluded that this retinal disorder is more common in women than in men. Board-certified Jacksonville, FL ophthalmologists, Drs. Agee and Sullivan, are trained to diagnose and treat PVD, and offer numerous options for patients suffering from this common retinal disorder.
Causes and Symptoms
As men and women age, various structures of the eye can change, including the vitreous gel. The vitreous gel is made of a stiff, jelly-like consistency made up mostly of collagen and water. This consistency naturally changes as we age, becoming more watery and not as protective. As this gel changes form, it has the potential to change shape and move from its normal position, which means it can move away from the retina at the back of the eye, to the front or center of the eye. The most common symptoms when this occurs are "floaters" within the eye, or flashes of light. It can also create a blurry effect, similar to having a cobweb over the eye. This condition is quite common, affecting a large percentage of the older adults, over the age of 65.
PVD is not a serious condition, nor is it a signal that there is an eye disease or health problem. However, if symptoms such as these occur it is important to receive an eye examination so that more serious eye problems, such as a retinal tear, can be diagnosed and addressed promptly.
"He is a very caring Doctor, he will not milk your insurance, he will not give you unnecessary surgery if you don't need it. I will never trust anyone else with my vision"- M.H. / Healthgrades / Aug 17, 2016
"Dr. Sullivan went beyond my expectations in my care. His staff is excellent. I am so pleased with the care and attention he showed to me. I highly recommend him. Staff is very compassionate."- B.O. / Google / Apr 03, 2019
"Dr Sullivan took great care of my husband , from emergency surgery to all the follow ups over this past year. He took his time and always explained procedures and his care was extraordinary. We are very thankful!"- S.G. / Google / Mar 21, 2019
"I was blessed beyond measure today! Southeastern Retina Specialist worked to get me in asap, due to an emergency eye issue, to save my vision. As I sit here, being able to see as I type this, is the most amazing feeling in the world! The care, compassion, excellent doctor and staff at this business is remarkable and unmatched! I will be forever grateful to Dr. Agee and the staff!"- D.D. / Google / Mar 20, 2019
"I might be blind in my right eye if it wasn't for Dr Sullivan. Had 3 tears in my Retina (suspect high B/P). Right eye is now 20/25 after retina was repaired and cataract surgery. Right eye has better vision than my left eye without surgery (20/30). It's nice to know the surgery can turn out so well that it not only fixed the torn retina, but also improved my vision to better than before the tears occurred."- A.K. / Google / Mar 20, 2019
Because PVD can mirror symptoms similar of a retinal tear or detachment, it's important to receive a thorough eye exam as soon as symptoms arise. The primary way to diagnose the cause of PVD is through a comprehensive dilated eye examination. If PVD is caught and diagnosed early, prior to any other condition developing, such as a retinal tear, treatment can help prevent further vision loss or the progression of the disorder.
Treatment and Prognosis
If a retinal tear or a retinal detachment has not occurred due to PVD, early treatment using a surgical procedure known as a "vitrectomy" may help. This procedure removes the vitreous jelly from the center of the eye to help reduce blurry vision and floaters. If PVD is left untreated, new conditions can develop such as a macular hole or detached retina, which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Plan Your Procedure
Call today for help
PVD is a widely common eye condition among the elderly that can be diagnosed and discussed with one of our trained eye doctors. We invite you to call our retinal care front desk coordinators and schedule your eye exam so that we can help you gain insight and assist you with your needs.