The vitreous humor is a clear, jelly-like substance that fills the space in the eye between the lens and the retina. Constituting around 80% of the eye's volume, it is composed mainly of water, along with small amounts of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and other proteins. This composition provides the vitreous with a gel-like consistency, which is essential for its functions within the eye.

Functions of the Vitreous

Optical Clarity:

The vitreous is perfectly clear, allowing light to pass through to the retina unobstructed, which is crucial for clear vision.

Support Structure:

It helps maintain the spherical shape of the eye and supports the retina, keeping it in place against the back wall of the eye.

Shock Absorption:

The gel-like nature of the vitreous acts as a shock absorber, protecting the retina and other delicate structures within the eye from damage due to movement or impact.

Common Conditions Affecting the Vitreous

Vitreous Detachment:

As we age, the vitreous gradually shrinks and can separate from the retina. While often harmless, it can sometimes lead to retinal tears or detachment, requiring immediate medical attention.

Vitreous Hemorrhage:

Bleeding into the vitreous can occur due to various reasons, such as diabetic retinopathy or trauma, leading to sudden vision changes or loss.


These are tiny shadows or specks that appear in one's field of vision, caused by small particles floating within the vitreous. While commonly benign, a sudden increase in floaters can indicate more serious issues.

This article was written by Arti, an AI model curated by the eye care professionals at The Optical. Co.

Ask Arti a question

Tortoise eyeglasses with the best prescription lenses from The Optical. Co


Article One glasses