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For further information, see CMDT Part 7-15: Vitreous Hemorrhage

Key Features

  • Visual acuity ranges from 20/20 (6/6) to light perception only

  • The eye is not inflamed, red, or painful

  • Causes include

    • Retinal tears (with or without detachment)

    • Diabetic or sickle cell retinopathy

    • Retinal vein occlusions

    • Retinal vasculitis

    • Neovascular age-related macular degeneration

    • Retinal arterial macroaneurysm

    • Blood dyscrasias

    • Therapeutic anticoagulation

    • Trauma

    • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

    • Severe straining (Valsalva retinopathy)

Clinical Findings

  • Sudden visual loss

  • Abrupt onset of floaters that may progressively increase in severity

  • Occasionally, "bleeding within the eye"


  • The clue to diagnosis is the inability to see fundus details clearly despite the presence of a clear lens

  • In all cases, examination by an ophthalmologist is essential


  • Retinal tears and detachments require urgent treatment

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