When you are young a gel like substance that fills the eye is attached to the retina and the macula. As you become older the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina and eventually over time separates completely from the retina. This is a normal part of aging and happens to most people by the age of 70.
In some people with vitreomacular traction the vitreous doesn’t detach completely. It partially remains connected to the macula, at the center of the retina. This causes the vitreous to tug on the macula, causing vitreomacular traction (VMT). Untreated this can cause loss of vision.
People with certain eye diseases such as high myopia, diabetic eye disease and retinal vein occlusion may be at higher risk.
In mild cases no treatment may be needed but it is important to be observed to ensure that the vitreomacular traction is not getting any worse and directly affecting your vision. In some cases, it may resolve itself on its own. It is important to get follow up visits to ensure your condition is monitored and observed closely.
In more severe cases surgery may be needed as vitreomacular traction can lead to vision-threatening retinal conditions including:
· Macular puckering
· Macular hole
· Cystoid macular edema
In these circumstances a vitrectomy may be recommended to return the macula to its normal shape. This involves using tiny instruments to remove the vitreous from the eye and replace it with a saline fluid. This procedure relieves the traction that is causing damage to the macula.
To learn more about treatment options or any concerns you may have relating to Vitreomacular Traction please schedule a visit with Dr El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-22A-NNAN to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.
“This image was originally published in the Retina Image Bank® website.
Author: Alex P. Hunyar, MD. Severe Vitreomacular Traction. Retina Image Bank. 2012; 2891. © the American Society of Retina Specialists."