Symptoms and causes

What is it?

In the eye, the entire space between the lens and the retina is filled with vitreous. With age, the composition of the vitreous gradually changes so that, at some point, it can detach from the retina (posterior vitreous detachment).

This is a normal process that occurs suddenly. Sometimes this can cause a bleeding in the vitreous or a tear in the retina. A tear like this can cause moisture to collect under the retina, causing the retina to come loose. We call this a retinal detachment.

Surgery (vitrectomy) is necessary in the event of retinal detachment, otherwise there will be vision loss.

Diagnosis and treatment


The physician will look into the eye to assess the retina. To do so, the pupil is first dilated as much as possible using eye drops.


More information about the treatment can be found on the vitrectomy page.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Eye Clinic

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vanwynsberghe David