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What Does the Vitreous Gel Do in the Human Eye?

The eye is one of the most delicate organs in the body and is responsible for the way we see the world around us. Small yet complex, the human eye looks at images and then sends those signals to the brain allowing us to know what is in our view. With so many functioning parts, there is genuine curiosity in how they all work together to support your vision. 

You may already know that the retina is responsible for telling the difference between dark and light or that the pupil regulates what amount of light passes through your eye, but before all of that happens, there is a clear coating around your eye protecting it. Why is that important? What does the vitreous gel do in the human eye?

The vitreous is the watery, gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye. Vitreous gel has 3 main functions. First, the vitreous chamber makes up about 80% of the eye, giving the eyeball its spherical shape. Fluid within the vitreous chamber is made up mostly of water, but also contains small amounts of collagen, proteins, electrolytes and important sugars including glycosaminoglycan. The vitreous body works to keep the eyes clear. To see clearly and maintain sharp vision, outside light needs to shine directly on the macula, the middle part of the retina. Light can easily pass through the clear and watery vitreous gel. Lastly, this simple coating of vitreous gel provides a powerful protective function. Vitreous acts as a shock absorber lessening disturbances that may otherwise cause eye damage such as a head injury or other harmful physical activity. 

To maintain the health of the vitreous and protect your vision, regular eye exams are important. The most common concerns relating to vitreous gel in the human eye are retinal tears or a retinal detachment. Signs and symptoms include sudden development or increase in eye floaters, flashes of light within the eye, dark shadow or gray curtain closing in on the sides of the eye, or blurred vision. 

To learn more about what the vitreous does in the human eye or other important information, our caring and dedicated team at Associated Retina Consultants encourages you to bring all your questions to your next appointment. Schedule today at 602-242-4928 or WEBSITE

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