What is the Vitreous?
The vitreous humour fills the back of the eye, behind the lens and in front of the retina. It is transparent and is a gel, a little like fresh egg white in consistency. The vitreous is very strongly attached in a ring at the front and cannot be fully removed here. At the back of the eye, it is less strongly attached to the optic nerve and blood vessels of the retina.
Many macular and retinal diseases are caused, in part at least, by abnormal attachments of the vitreous to the retina. In such cases vitrectomy surgery may be helpful.
As one gets older, the consistency of the vitreous changes and it becomes more liquid. This is then followed by shrinkage of the vitreous and a separation of the vitreous from the retina. This is known as a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) and can occur suddenly with significant consequences, such as retinal tear or retinal detachment.