Published online May 20, 2021. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v11.i3.30
Peer-review started: March 18, 2021
First decision: May 14, 2021
Revised: May 14, 2021
Accepted: May 20, 2021
Article in press: May 20, 2021
Published online: May 20, 2021
Spontaneous posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) is a common age-related condition in which prevalence tends to increase with age. Acute PVD can cause the onset of symptoms that include visual disturbances, myodesopsia and photopsia. The goal of this short review was to provide a quick glance at the important factors related to PVD based on current literature in this field, which includes incidence, symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, and education for patients with acute symptoms, and treatments. The take home message is that an ophthalmic examination at the onset of symptoms is of utmost importance, considering that irreversible sight-threatening complications can be prevented if diagnosed and treated promptly.
Core Tip: Posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) tends to be a benign condition related to aging. Acute PVD can cause the onset of symptoms like flashes, visual disturbances, and floaters. Current literature has provided new explanations of the mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal PVD. Incidence, prevalence, and risk factors are important in assessing patients. New diagnostic tools like optical coherence tomography have assisted in providing objective evaluation of patients. Treatment with vitrectomy and laser and pharmacological vitreolysis are available, but are seldom considered because they can be invasive and can worsen symptoms. Patients must be educated to seek an ophthalmologic examination that includes a dilated fundus evaluation at the onset of important signs and symptoms, especially those with risk factors, because early diagnosis and treatment can prevent irreversible vision loss.