Vitreous Haemorrhage

The vitreous is the eye's middle chamber, and haemorrhaging in this area means that blood has seeped into this chamber. This may not be serious and often clears on its own, but nevertheless requires the attention of a doctor and an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) to rule out any other conditions or complications.

Symptoms of Vitreous Haemorrhage

Blotches or spots clouding your vision for long periods. These might move around the eye in a whirling motion, and a kind of spider web pattern can also arise in your field of vision. These symptoms are called 'floaters.' Your vision may become suddenly blurred, and might be compromised by occasional flashes of light. Loss of vision is frequent.

Possible Causes of Vitreous Haemorrhage

A vitreous haemorrhage is a highly idiosyncratic condition that generally arises for reasons specific to each case. However, the condition is sometimes provoked by trauma to the eye, as encountered during contact sports. Retinal tears or detachment can also cause the injury, as can an aneurysm in the eye. One other potential cause of the haemorrhaging is a complication arising from proliferative retinopathy. In this condition (regularly caused by diabetes), tiny blood vessels begin to grow from the retina's surface at the rear of the eye. Due to their size they are fragile and prone to unpredictable bleeding. If left untreated the condition can lead to serious loss of vision, but an earlier side effect is that these delicate blood vessels can move forwards into your vitreous gel, eventually causing the vessels to burst and blood to leak into the vitreous chamber.

Medical Treatment for Vitreous Haemorrhage

It is important to consult a professional as soon as possible because of the many causes of the injury; they will understand all the finer points of the condition and recommend a suitable approach. Fortunately a vitreous haemorrhage is usually not major and heals on its own by the blood being reabsorbed, though this can take a few months and you might need to rest from certain sports in the meantime due to the safety issues of playing with poor vision. When the haemorrhage first arises, it can be beneficial to eliminate any heavy lifting from your daily activities and also to sit upright as much as feasible for a couple of days.

If the injury turns out to be severe, a vitrectomy may be necessary. This surgery takes the blood and vitreous gel from the affected eye, with the surgeon replacing the gel with a similar substance that mimics the functions of the gel. Recovery from this sort of procedure should take around 6 weeks, with full vision returning soon after this. Treatment might also vary depending on the cause of the injury and any associated pre-existing diseases.

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