The vitreous is a jelly-like substance that fills the middle part of the eye. It undergoes changes as we age. This is a normal part of aging and happens to most people by the age of 70. It becomes less solid and more liquid-like. It shrinks and pulls away from the back of the eye. Since the vitreous is attached to the retina at some points, these adhesions break and the vitreous separates from the retina, causing a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD).
PVD may be a harmless event with no symptoms and no vision loss. No treatment is necessary in these cases. Others may notice certain symptoms when this process starts to occur such as: flashes of light in peripheral vision, floaters, or specks, moving around in the field of vision and/ or decreased vision or a dark curtain or shadow moving across your visual field.
If the vitreous pulls too hard from the back of the eye, it may cause a retinal tear to form because it takes a piece of the retinal tissue with it. If this occurs, the area is usually sealed with laser around the edges to prevent a retinal detachment which may cause permanent loss of vision if not repaired.
It is important to note any disturbances in your vision, including continued flashes, increased floaters or visual field loss and notify your ophthalmologist for re-evaluation as soon as possible.