What Is Vitreous Hemorrhage?
A number of conditions can cause a vitreous hemorrhage, where blood leaks into the vitreous ‘gel’ inside the eye. The eye is filled with a clear vitreous ‘gel’. When blood leaks into this gel, usually from blockage or damage to the blood vessels of the retina, is known as a vitreous hemorrhage. This usually results in blurred vision, as the leaked fluids block the light that passes into the eye.
What Causes a Vitreous Hemorrhage?
There are three main causes of vitreous hemorrhage:
Damage to Normal Blood Vessels
Retinal blood vessels that are damaged by injury or trauma can cause a vitreous hemorrhage. Some eye problems can also cause damage to the blood vessels of the retina, such as retinal tears. A retinal vein occlusion can also cause vitreous hemorrhage, as it blocks the veins that feed the retina, which may then bleed into the vitreous ‘gel’.
The Growth of Abnormal Blood Vessels
Some eye conditions can cause the growth of abnormal blood vessels that bleed into the vitreous ‘gel’ of the eye. The later stages of diabetic retinopathy, some retinal vein occlusions, and occasionally wet AMD can cause abnormal, delicate blood vessels to grow and bleed into the vitreous cavity.
Bleeding from Other Parts of the Eye
Occasionally, blood from another source can cause a vitreous hemorrhage. While it is very rare, a hemorrhage in another part of the eye, or even a tumor, can cause blood to leak through into the vitreous ‘gel’.
How Is a Vitreous Hemorrhage Treated?
Vitreous hemorrhage sometimes goes away by itself, or it can be removed with vitrectomy surgery, which may also be required to treat the cause of the hemorrhage.