What is a Vitreous Hemorrhage?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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A vitreous hemorrhage is a medical problem with the eye in which a blood vessel ruptures and leaks into the vitreous, the clear gel which fills the eye. There are a number of reasons why a vitreous hemorrhage can develop, and there are several available treatment options. This condition is generally managed by an ophthalmologist, although if the hemorrhage was caused by an underlying disease process, another doctor may be consulted to provide more complete treatment.

Much of the eye is taken up with the vitreous. When blood leaks into this area of the eye, it can cause specks, spots, floaters, and cloudy vision. In extreme cases, the patient may develop blindness. These visual symptoms are usually the only sign of a vitreous hemorrhage, as the condition is usually not painful. Sometimes the condition is complicated with a problem such as retinal detachment, depending on what caused the hemorrhage in the first place.

The tiny blood vessels inside the eye usually rupture because they are weakened. Individuals with high blood pressure, diabetic retinopathy, and sickle cell anemia are at increased risk for vitreous hemorrhage. In addition, this condition can be caused by trauma to the eye. Other underlying medical conditions can also be involved, making discussion of any existing medical problems an important part of the patient workup for the purpose of determining which contributing factors may be involved.


The conservative approach to treatment is to do nothing. In some patients, the leaked blood eventually clots and is reabsorbed, and the vitreous hemorrhage resolves on its own. In people with severe hemorrhage or outstanding risk factors, the doctor may recommend a vitrectomy, in which some of the gel is aspirated and replaced with a saline solution. There are some risks to this procedure, and it is generally only recommended when it is necessary.

As part of the treatment for vitreous hemorrhage, the doctor will also address other eye conditions and medical issues which the patient may be experiencing. It is important to provide treatment for underlying medical problems or the hemorrhage may recur, and the eye could be compromised. Treatments can include adjustments to the patient's current treatment plan, as well as workups to determine why the patient's underlying condition flared up and led to a hemorrhage in the eye. For people with conditions which put them at risk for eye problems, it is important to stay alert and to manage the condition to prevent such problems from emerging.


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Post 4

@seag47 - My mother also had vitreous surgery. She had to stay several days at the hospital to recover, though, because she had an extreme case, and they wanted to monitor her recovery.

Her doctor had to prescribe pain pills for her. He said that often people don’t experience pain from the surgery, but exceptions are possible.

She had to wear an eye patch for three days, and he gave her some antibiotic eyedrops to help speed up her healing.

Because she had the gas injected into her eye, he told her to keep her head upright for three days so that it could absorb better. He also said that she might have blurred vision for a few months.

Post 3

My aunt has diabetes, and it caused her to bleed into her vitreous. She had to have her vitreous gel removed from the middle portion of her eye, because it had started to pull the retina away from its position.

She was sedated and given an anesthetic. The surgeon used a laser for the surgery, along with a tiny light so he could see inside her eye. After he had finished, he injected silicone gas in place of the vitreous gel to keep the pressure inside her eye normal. The surgery lasted about three hours, and she got to go home soon afterward.

Post 2

After seeing all of my symptoms under one condition described on a medical website, I decided to do vitreous hemorrhage treatment on myself at home. I figured it was worth a shot. I could always see a doctor if it didn’t work.

First, I made myself rest from physical activity. I applied cold compresses to my eye, and I bought an eye shield. I elevated my head in my sleep with three pillows, and I avoided medicine that could thin my blood.

Within four days, I noticed improvement. I continued the treatment for the rest of the week, and the problem went away.

Post 1

My grandmother had been experiencing odd issues with her eye. Suddenly, she was having trouble reading. Her vision got blurrier than normal, and she had green mucus draining out. Her eyes and her head ached.

She visited an ophthalmologist. Since her case was extreme, he recommended laser therapy. Her retina was injured, and this was the best way to repair it.

The surgery removed the blood from inside the eye. He told her to rest in bed for a few days, either slightly elevated with pillows or sitting upright. She noticed improvement within a week.

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