Vitreous haemorrhage

16/07/2014 by admin | Ophthalmology

Definition: bleeding into the middle chamber of the eye obscuring vision. Often self limiting and will resolve spontaneously, but may need investigation for its cause – often diabetic retinopathy

Classification / type of disease:


Presenting symptoms / signs:

  • Sudden onset of floaters causing impaired vision or total loss of vision.
  • Depending on the severity of the haemorrhage, the view may be impossible with  a direct ophthalmoscope (it is then important to examine the good eye which may  provide clues such as in diabetes mellitus).

Diagnostic investigations: 


  • posterior vitreous detachment with or without retinal breaks
  • proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • central retinal vein occlusion
  • subretinal neovascular membrane in  age-related macular degeneration with breakthrough bleeding
  • trauma due to contact sport



Treatment / management:  

  • In the casualty, the ophthalmologists will examine the eye for any posterior vitreous  detachment and diabetic changes.
  • An ultrasound is often performed if the view is poor to exclude a retinal detachment
  • These patients require close observation until the cause has been established or treated.
  • If it does not heal spontaneously within 6 weeks – a vitrectomy may be indicated.
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