Eye Structure

The structures and functions of the eyes are complex. Each eye constantly adjusts the amount of light it lets in, focuses on objects near and far, and produces continuous images that are instantly transmitted to the brain.

 

The orbit is the bony cavity that contains the eyeball, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, as well as the structures that produce and drain tears. Each orbit is a pear-shaped structure that is formed by several bones.

Each photoreceptor is linked to a nerve fiber. The nerve fibers from the photoreceptors are bundled together to form the optic nerve. The optic disk, the first part of the optic nerve, is at the back of the eye.

The photoreceptors in the retina convert the image into electrical signals, which are carried to the brain by the optic nerve. There are two main types of photoreceptors: cones and rods.

Cones are responsible for sharp, detailed central vision and color vision and are clustered mainly in the macula.

Rods are responsible for night and peripheral (side) vision. Rods are more numerous than cones and much more sensitive to light, but they do not register color or contribute to detailed central vision as the cones do. Rods are grouped mainly in the peripheral areas of the retina.

The eyeball is divided into two sections, each of which is filled with fluid. The pressure generated by these fluids fills out the eyeball and helps maintain its shape.

The front section (anterior segment) extends from the inside of the cornea to the front surface of the lens. It is filled with a fluid called the aqueous humor, which nourishes the internal structures. The anterior segment is divided into two chambers. The front (anterior) chamber extends from the cornea to the iris. The back (posterior) chamber extends from the iris to the lens. Normally, the aqueous humor is produced in the posterior chamber, flows slowly through the pupil into the anterior chamber, and then drains out of the eyeball through outflow channels located where the iris meets the cornea.

The back section (posterior segment) extends from the back surface of the lens to the retina. It contains a jellylike fluid called the vitreous humor.

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