Posterior vitreous detachment


Flashes may appear as bright streaks of light, usually at the side of your vision. It may feel like a camera suddenly flashed in the corner of your eye, or may appear as an arc travelling across your field of vision (like a shooting star).


Floaters are small shadows which drift across your field of vision. They may look like strings, cobwebs, a veil, or fly or mosquito. They are commonly seen first thing in the morning and are more noticeable when looking at white or light colored walls. 

However, floaters and flashes can indicate a number of more dangerous conditions, such as retinal tear and or detachment. As a result, it’s always important to see either an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.

Coastal Eye Surgeons

Healthy vision versus PVD-affected vision.

As the vitreous shrinks naturally with age and becomes unattached.  Usually this occurs without any problem.  

Occasionally, as the vitreous comes away from the retina (lining of the eye), it can cause a tear in the retina, which can lead to fluid getting in behind the retina and slowly pulling it off, or detaching the retina. This can cause loss of visual field initially and loss of vision ultimately.  This is an ocular emergency which needs surgery to treat it.

For more information, see Retinal detachment.

How is PVD diagnosed?

Posterior vitreous detachment can be seen by an Optometrist or your Ophthalmologist at Coastal Eye Surgeons.  The vitreous detachment is visible upon a dilated examination of your eye. 

More importantly, a retinal tear and or retinal detachment can also been seen during this examination.

Dr Louise Robinson - Coastal Eye Surgeons

Opthalmologist Dr Louise Robinson

More information

Scroll to Top