Q:

What is the function of the vitreous humor?

A:

Quick Answer

The vitreous humor helps to keep the retina firmly in place, according to WebRN-MacularDegeneration.com. Additionally, the vitreous humor fills much of the eye, allowing light to pass through the lens to the retina and helping the eye to keep its round shape. The space the vitreous humor fills is called the vitreous body.

Continue Reading
What is the function of the vitreous humor?
Credit: Nicolas de Camaret CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Healthline explains that vitreous humor is composed primarily of water, but other substances, such as salts, sugars and collagen, are also constituents of the gel. As it is necessary for light to penetrate the substance, it must remain very clear. The vitreous humor is a static collection of fluid. This means that it is not replenished or replaced by the human body. By contrast, the aqueous humor, which resides near the front of the eye, is routinely replaced. This means that if some substance enters the vitreous humor, usually blood, fibers or blood vessels, it remains there until removed surgically.

According to WebRN-MacularDegeneration.com, the vitreous humor can become less gel-like and more liquefied as people age. This liquefaction can cause fibers from the retina to detach and float freely through the vitreous humor. These free-floating fibers sometimes become noticeable in people's field of vision, appearing as dust, strings, dots or cobwebs, and physicians call them floaters.

Learn more about Human Anatomy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the macula?

    A:

    The macula is a small and highly sensitive part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision needed to do daily tasks such as reading, driving and distinguishing colors or details. The macula is about five millimeters in diameter, according to The Association for Macular Diseases.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where is the retina's blind spot?

    A:

    The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that the retina's blind spot is located in the optic disk, which is also known as the optic nerve head. The optic disk is a small portion of the visual field of each eye.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What drains the aqueous humor from the eye?

    A:

    The BrightFocus Foundation states that aqueous humor drains from the eye through a spongy tissue at the front of the eye called the trabecular meshwork. Beginning in the ciliary body where it is produced, the aqueous humor flows into the anterior chamber of the eye and finally exits through the trabecular meshwork and into a drainage canal.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do you get flashes of light in your eyes?

    A:

    Flashes of light in the eyes are caused by migraine headaches, the shrinking of the vitreous humor in the eye or a torn retina, says MedicineNet. Most incidences of flashing lights are not serious, but if they are sudden and frequent, the patient should see his eye doctor.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore