Vitreous Hemorrhage

What is a Vitreous Hemorrhage?

A vitreous hemorrhage is a bleed in the back of the eye.  The hemorrhage can be small, or can fill the vitreous space completely.  Small bleeds may be asymptomatic, or present as floaters.  Large bleeds will result in severe vision loss. Vitreous hemorrhages are always caused by either a tear in the retina or an abnormal blood vessel in the retina (usually caused by diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, age related macular degeneration, high blood pressure with macro-aneurysm or sickle cell retinopathy).  Retinal tears can progress to retinal detachments if not treated. Abnormal blood vessels may continue to bleed or progress to tractional retinal detachment if not treated. Vitreous hemorrhages are treated with injections of medicine, laser, or vitrectomy surgery to remove the blood, prevent further bleeding, and improve or preserve vision.