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Updated: Aug 25 2022

Eye Anatomy

  • Introduction
    • The structures of the eye
      • cornea
        • a transparent structure that allows light to enter the eye
      • pupil
      • iris
        • covered by the conjunctiva, a transparent mucous membrane
          • remember that the conjunctiva lines the inside of the eyelids as well, up to the limbus
          • clinical correlate
            • conjunctivitis
              • which describes inflammation of the conjunctiva
      • lens
      • sclera
      • limbus
        • which is the border of the cornea and sclera
      • medial and lateral canthus
    • Light enters the eye through the cornea and lens which results in
      • an image (inverted and reversed) being formed in the retina
        • the area on the retina with the highest visual acuity is the fovea, which is surrounded by the macula
        • medial (nasal) to the fovea is the optic disc, which
          • is where axons exit forming the optic nerve (cranial nerve II)
            • note that the optic nerve does not have photoreceptors over it, resulting in a small blind spot
        • photoreceptors
          • there are two classes
            • rods
              • provides vision in a low-level light environment
              • does not detect color
              • Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disorder characterized by degradation of rod photoreceptors. It presents with progressively deteriorating night vision and peripheral vision
            • cones
              • highly represented in the fovea
              • detect color
    • choroid
      • is a vascular layer of the eye
    • ciliary body
      • is found between the choroid and the iris and is composed of the
      • ciliary muscle
        • which is controlled by the parasympathetic fibers in the oculomotor nerve in order to
          • contract, resulting in miosis
      • ciliary processes
        • which have zonular fibers extending from this structure to the lens forming the suspensory ligament
    • Lens
      • transparent biconvex disc behind the pupil that provides additional refractive power. Is composed of:
        • lens capsule
        • subcapsular epithelium
        • lens fibers
      • disease processes that affect the lens include
        • cataracts - opacifiction of the crystalline lens
        • ectopia lentis - lens dislocation
        • presbyopia - decreased elasticity of the lens leading to impaired accomodation
    • Anterior chamber
      • describes the area behind (posterior) to the cornea and infront (anterior) to the iris
    • Posterior chamber
      • describes the area posterior to the iris and anterior chamber
    • Aqueous humor pathway
      • the ciliary body produces aqueous humor into the posterior chamber which
        • flows through the space between the lens and iris into the
          • anterior chamber and finally drains into the
            • trabecular meshwork and then canal of Schlemm
            • uveoscleral pathway
    • Blood supply
      • an arterial source is from the ophthalmic artery
        • the short posterior, long posterior, and anterior ciliary arteries
        • central retinal artery which
          • supplies the optic nerve
        • occlusion presents as painless, acute loss of vision in the affected eye
      • venous drainage is from
        • the vorticose veins
        • central retinal veins
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