A vitreous haemorrhage is bleeding into the vitreous cavity. As a result of blood accumulating in this cavity, light is scattered and also obstructed from being focused onto the retina resulting in the vision being affected.
Commoner causes of a vitreous haemorrhage include:
1) A Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) with or without being associated with a retinal tear
2) Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
3) Retinal vein occlusions
The treatment of a vitreous haemorrhage involves identifying the underlying cause accurately and removal of the vitreous blood via an operation called a vitrectomy if there is a significant amount of blood within the vitreous cavity. Depending on the underlying cause, laser may be applied at the time of vitrectomy surgery to prevent future episodes of bleeding. (please refer to section on Vitrectomy)
Figure showing blood in the vitreous cavity being removed with vitrectomy surgery
If the cause of the vitreous haemorrhage is a suspected retinal tear secondary to a posterior vitreous detachment, and there is too much blood obscuring the view of the entire retina therefore not allowing treatment of the retinal tear with laser, it may be necessary to proceed with early vitrectomy surgery