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Vitreous Hemorrhage

A vitreous hemorrhage is blood that has leaked into the central cavity of the eye.  It occurs when abnormal blood vessels rupture and bleed into the vitreous, which is the gel that occupies the space between the lens and retina. The formation of these new, abnormal vessels (neovascularization) is often associated with diabetic retinopathy. They form in or under the retina.

Other causes of a vitreous hemorrhage may be trauma, vein occlusion, a tear in the retina or rarely ‘wet’ macular degeneration. Depending on the size of the hemorrhage, a few new, dark floaters may appear or all vision could be blocked.

If the vitreous blood doesn’t clear within a reasonable amount of time,
vitrectomy surgery
may be recommended. An ultrasound may be used to evaluate the retina if the blood obstructs the physician’s view. This may be helpful in determining the cause of the hemorrhage and guide treatment options.


Photo of a vitreous hemorrhage

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