Vitreous detachments are simply observed to assure that no complications arise, which usually occurs in the first few months. The symptoms are not very helpful in determining if there is a complication, so a thorough dilated retinal exam is required. Obstructive floaters can potentially be removed with a brief procedure, but this is reserved for severe cases as they are otherwise harmless.
A retinal hemorrhage may or may not require treatment. If it is mild to moderate, and the view into the eye is adequate, then it may just be observed and will resolve spontaneously within about three months or less. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the blood and treat any possible source of the bleeding.
Retinal tears can be treated without surgery and stop it from causing any permanent damage. Retinal tears occur at the far edge of the retina and can be sealed off with a non-invasive laser procedure in clinic. Retinal tears themselves are not a cause of significant vision loss, but may rapidly lead to detachment of the retina from the inner wall of the eye.
Retinal detachments can cause serious permanent damage and require urgent intervention to repair. There are several ways to reattach the retina, and the optimal approach is individually tailored. Minor detachments can sometimes be repaired with a minimally invasive procedure in clinic. Most commonly surgery is required to repair the detached retina, often on an urgent basis. The visual results from retinal detachments repair depend primarily on how extensive it is and how long it’s been detached. In general, the sooner we're able to repair a detached retina, the more vision we can save for the patient. We always encourage people with floaters, flashes or rapid vision loss to contact their eye doctor immediately for a thorough dilated eye exam or referral to a retinal specialist.