Can vitreous detachment without a retinal tear cause problems?

More annoyance than real ocular or visual problems.

People who experience posterior vitreous detachment often must deal with the floaters, blobs, and "lint" they see sloshing around their field of view. These are actually suspended vitreous condensations and will typically dissipate slowly on their own. Time, gravity, and the brain's ability to process an image so as to suppress awareness of them is quite effective.

But in some people this does not happen enough to meet their visual needs. In such cases, it is possible to perform a pars plana vitrectomy or what some humorously call a "floaterectomy" that will surgically remove the vitreous (which in adults is not really necessary anyway) along with all those condensations suspended in the vitreous.

Vitrectomy, however, has its own risks and possible complications so should not be chosen lightly or without proper informed consent.

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic