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Jane’s Blog Eye Health: Vitreous Detachment / Vitreomacular Traction

Posted by Jane Jansen on

Recently I got a special request from one of our avid listeners of our radio program Holistic Healthline to write about Vitreomacular Traction.

So this is for you Elaine! Thank you so much!

The eyes use more nutrients per cubic inch than any other organ in the body. However, research shows that poorly nourished eyes can develop many eye diseases particularly with aging.

The vitreous humor is a transparent gel-like material that occupies the space behind the lens and in front of the retina at the back of the eye. It is surrounded by a layer of collagen called vitreous cortex (membrane) separating it from the rest of the eye. It makes up four-fifths of the volume of the eyeball and gives it its spherical shape. In healthy, young eyes, this clear, gel-like substance is firmly attached to the retina and the macula by millions of microscopic fibers.

The vitreous humour contains no blood vessels, and 98–99% of its volume is water and consists of salts, sugars, vitrosin (collagen). Hyalocytes, also known as vitreous cells may produce collagen type II fibrils, glycosaminoglycan (chondroitin sulphate), and hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) and opticin (protein).. It also contains phagocytes which engulf and absorb bacteria and cellular debris.

As the eye ages, or in certain pathologic conditions, the vitreous cortex can pull away from the retina, leading to a condition known as posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This detachment usually occurs with aging in 25–30% of the population. It causes wrinkling of the retina. The symptoms include central vision distortion and blurring. Macular swelling may also ensue.

In most cases, a vitreous detachment (posterior vitreous detachment), is not sight-threatening and requires no treatment.

Detachment can occur suddenly, when fluid trapped in the middle of the vitreous humor floods into the interface between the vitreous base and the inner limiting membrane. Because the attachment over the macula is much firmer, the floating vitreous gel tugs on the retina. The process can cause the individual to see ‘sparkles’ or ‘flashes’ of light. See your Opthamologist immediately!

When the vitreous base is firmly attached, the tugging on the retina can cause a tear in the retina, or a macular hole. Weakening of the attachments of the vitreous cortex and the internal limiting membrane of the retina could also lead to partial detachment of the posterior hyaloid membrane, leading to PVD. There are instances where a PVD is incomplete, leaving the vitreous partially attached to the retina, and causing tractional (pulling) forces that can cause anatomical damage resulting in Vitreomacular traction (VMT).

VMT syndrome is usually caused by part of the vitreous remaining stuck to the macula during a posterior vitreous detachment.  It is most common in older adults due to age-related vitreous changes and vitreous liquefaction. VMT is associated particularly in older women with declining post-menopausal estrogen levels as well as in people with extreme nearsightedness, wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.

Currently conventional medicine suggests watchful waiting and regular monitoring. **Some cases of VMT may spontaneously resolve. For patients whose symptoms are severe enough to require intervention, Pars Plana Vitrectomy surgery is suggested for patients who are at risk for severe visual disturbances and/or central blindness. A medication called Ocriplasmin is given by intravitreal injections into the center of the eye and works by dissolving the tiny protein fibers that connect the vitreous with the macula.

Natural Treatments to slow down or decrease the severity of Vitreomacular traction include:

Hyaluronic Acid (Jarrow Formulas) is a low-molecular weight preparation derived from biological fermentation. It is responsible for retaining water molecules. As time goes by, your collagen-hyaluronic acid complex breaks down which results in the hyaluronic acid releasing its trapped water molecules. Your body does make its own hyaluronic acid, but as you age, your production of it diminishes. There are numerous vegetable sources and it’s also available in bone broth.

Chondroiton- is an important structural component of cartilage and provides much of its resistance to compression. Studies have shown chondroitin sulfate side-chains, shields type II collagen from exposure on the fibril surface. With aging, this shielding diminishes, resulting in the surface exposure of "sticky" type II collagen and thus predisposing the vitreous collagen fibrils to fusion. These changes could underlie vitreous liquefaction and weakening of vitreoretinal adhesion.

Serrapeptase -120,000 SPU’s is a proteolytic enzyme which reduces inflammation by thinning fluid around damaged tissue and increasing fluid drainage. It also has the ability to dissolve damaged, dead tissue without harming healthy tissue. Keep at least 1 hour away from food.

REG’ACTIVE (Essential Formulas Inc.) is a revolutionary supplement named for the 'Active Regeneration' of glutathione that is stimulated by ME-3.                                                                                                         ME-3 is a specialized beneficial bacteria “Lactobacillus fermentum” is considered by scientists as a "complete glutathione system" due to its ability to produce glutathione in the human body via three different mechanisms. Reg'Activ DETOX & LIVER HEALTH™ is a great choice for increasing glutathione levels, decreasing free radicals and oxidation of the tissues in the eye.

Always consult with your Holistic Practitioner or healthcare practitioner before taking supplements. Telephone or In-Office appointments are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center Inc. For more information call 508-336-4242 9am-5pm EST Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm Sat.

Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center

Host Holistic Healthine Radio  -Live every Saturday 8am-10am EST & Call with your questions toll-free 1-866-920-9455  for more information go to




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