Diagnosing and Treating a Vitrous Hemorrhage
A Vitreous hemorrhage is when the back cavity of the eye fills with blood. This can be caused by many things. Diabetic retinopathy, where abnormal blood vessels grow out into the VITREOUS and bleed, a retinal tear that happens over a blood vessel, blunt trauma to the eye, and sometimes for unknown reasons.
When you have a VITREOUS hemorrhage the doctor cannot see into your eye any better than you can see out of the eye. An Ultrasound is performed in order to screen you for something that might need immediate surgical attention, like a retinal detachment. If nothing is found on the Ultrasound, then you will be instructed to keep your head elevated, do not bend or lean over and sleep with your head on several pillows. This will allow the hemorrhage to settle at the bottom of the eye so the doctor can see into the eye and hopefully see the cause of the bleeding. If the blood does not clear over a period of 2 to 3 months then the doctor will recommend surgery to remove the hemorrhage. This would be performed at an out patient surgical care center under local anesthesia.
Ultrasonography is a harmless and painless test where sound waves are created in the tip of the probe. They travel through the hemorrhage and bounce off of the retina and any solid object they encounter then travel back to the probe tip and create an image of what they bounced off of. This is then displayed as an image on the monitor. This shows the doctor if there is any obvious pathology that could be causing the vitreous hemorrhage.