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
"Recently I had an ongoing issue and was passed around to several ophthalmologists via referral. Finally I ended up in Dr. Sullivan's hands. I will say several women I work with had strongly recommended him, and advised me (combined with having been to an ophthalmology appointment 3 times already in a one month span) that I would wait. The receptionist who confirmed my appointment also reminded me "you can expect to be at the appointment up to 4 hours" so it seems my expectations were a little different than some others. When I finally did get to see Doctor Sullivan (an hour and a half or so after my appointment time) he made an extremely scary situation so much better. He has amazing bedside manner and his delivery is understanding. I was really emotional and he assured me he was confident in his diagnosis and resolution. I left the appointment feeling 100 times better & completely happy I ended up in Dr. Sullivan's hands!"- W.T. / Yelp / Jul 19, 2018
"The staff is awesome. Friendly and always smiling?"- D.B. / Facebook / Jun 21, 2018
"Dr Sullivan was awesome !! I took my sister and he was on top of it right away!! She has a huge mass behind eye!! I would recommend them highly ????"- S.B. / Facebook / Jun 02, 2018
"Goes above and beyond for patients. Very detail oriented. Works well with other Dr if you have multiple eye issues such as glaucoma. There are long wait times in the office but it is well worth it. Dr. Sullivan is the primary Dr at the office but have had to see Dr Agee and he is great too. Highly recommend this office and doctors."- S.V. / Google / May 27, 2018
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.
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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.