Kenneth O. Sparks, M.D.
Vitreo-Retinal Surgery & Ophthalmology

Appointments online or call 323-655-8036
Services & Treatments


Vitreous Hemorrhage

Vitreous hemorrhage describes the appearance of blood within a bloodless gel, which is the vitreous humor of the eye. The vitreous is the gel like substance filling the eye cavity. Vitreous hemorrhage, or bleeding of the inner eye, results in an acute change in vision as it blocks light moving through the vitreous to the retina. This hemorrhage specifically occurs in front of the retina in the posterior section of the eye.

Causes of a Vitreous Hemorrhage:

Bleeding into the vitreous may be the result of rupture of a retinal aneurysm, a retinal tear or detachment, leakage from a new abnormal blood vessel (neovascularization), ocular trauma, or as a result of serious underlying ocular or systemic disease state. Common conditions include diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinal vascular disease, or posterior vitreous detachment. These conditions account for 60-89% of all hemorrhage cases. Other less common causes include sickle cell retinopathy and age related macular degeneration.

Symptoms of Vitreous Hemorrhages:

Bleeding of the inner eye will cause several symptoms including acute blurry vision, light flashes, floaters, and full or partial blindness.

What Treatments Are Available?

Once the hemorrhage is observed your retina specialist will determine the severity and source of the bleed. Some bleeding may clot on its own and resolve over time. It may take months for full recovery. Currently, there are certain drugs that may dissolve the vitreous gel to reduce the recovery time. For more serious cases, a vitrectomy may be performed. This is an operation in which the vitreous gel is removed, along with the obscuring blood. The eye is refilled with clear saline solution. Restoration of vision, although often immediate, may take several weeks to months.
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