The Vitreous

The normal vitreous is a clear gel, which occupies most of the inside of the eye. Its consistency is similar to that of raw white of egg and, being a gel, it takes up water and salts. It is made up of a meshwork of collagen fibres whose interspaces are filled with molecules of hyaluronic acid. The vitreous is adherent to the retina at the ora serrata (junction of ciliary body and retina) and around the optic disc and macula. If we move our eyes, the vitreous moves, and, being restrained by its attachment, swings back to its original position again. The vitreous is usually perfectly transparent but most people become aware of small particles of cellular debris, which can be observed against a clear background such as a blue sky or an X-ray screen (vitreous floaters). These particles can be seen to move slowly with eye movement and appear to have momentum,just as one would expect if one considers the way the vitreous moves.

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