Eye Specialist
Brussels, Belgium

Posterior vitreous detachment


The vitreous body is a gelatinous embryologic left-over filling the cavity of the back of the eye. It is tightly stuck on different locations of the retina.

As life goes on, it becomes more liquid. This will causes progressive contraction of the vitreous gel which can induce tractions on the retina where adherences are strong. This contraction can evolve more quicker under certain conditions such as traumatism or surgical procedure.

Liquefaction and contraction of the vitreous body induce impresions of "filament" or "flies" in front of the vision.
Tractions of vitreous body on retina cause flashes.

3D representation of vitreous detachment

Main symptoms

Photopsia: impression of luminous flashes resulting from retina stimulation by tractionnal adherences of the vitreous body.

Myodesopsia: impression of de "filaments" or "flies" in front of the vision resulting from formations of "floaters" in vitreous body during its progressive liquefaction.


Consult your Eye Doctor in order to control your retina by an eye fundus. This is a relative emergency, i-e control can be made some days following symptoms.

It is necessary to control if tractions on retina did not induce holes or tears which can eventually lead to retina detachment.

There is no treatement in first intention. In the majority of cases, removing surgically the vitreous body exposes the eye to greater risks than leaving it that way.

If retinal breaks occurs, a laser treatment will be done to avoid evolution to a retinal detachment. Therefore, this is preventive traitement.