Retina and Vitreous

Henry Ford ophthalmologists are dedicated to the treatment and study of diseases affecting the retina and vitreous.

Your eye functions like a camera, with a lens and film. Light entering the eye passes through the cornea, the lens and vitreous gel before reaching the retina. All of the reactions that allow us to see begin at this point.


The retina acts as the film in the camera, and it is the nerve tissue or layer at the back of the eye. The retina has the ability to see by sensing light and creating electrical impulses that travel through the optic nerve (which functions like a cable) to the brain.

Vitreous humor

The vitreous, or vitreous humor, is the clear gel that is found between the lens and the retina.

There are many diseases which can affect the retina and vitreous, including:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: A complication of diabetes that results from small retinal blood vessels leaking or bleeding, retinal tissue swelling or abnormal blood vessels growing into the retina and vitreous fluid.
  • Macular degeneration: Loss of vision in the macula, the center of the retina and the area of central vision used to see small print, colors and other fine details.
  • Macular holes: Holes in the macula that cause blurry and distorted vision.
  • Macular pucker: Scar tissue that develops on the macula as the result of vitreous degeneration.
  • Retinal tears: A condition that occurs when the vitreous begins to peel away from the retina. A torn retina is an emergency condition.
  • Retinal detachment: Some retinal tears can lead to a retinal detachment. Without emergency eye care, it may cause permanent vision loss.
  • Retinal vascular disease: This condition results when one of the vessels (arteries or veins) in the retina becomes blocked, disrupting blood flow in the retina.
  • Vitreous degeneration: When the vitreous begins to break down as part of the normal aging process, it can pull on the retina and cause several related conditions, including macular pucker, macular holes, retinal tears and retinal detachment.

At Henry Ford, patients come first.

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology is committed to providing our patients with compassionate, personalized care. We feature the most advanced treatments in eye care and are dedicated to vision research – always staying at the forefront of innovation. A leader in Michigan, as well as one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States, we treat more than 55,000 patients per year at 12 locations throughout southeast Michigan. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it.

Take the next step

Let us help you schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.


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