Parts of the Eye

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 27-Jul-2011

Parts of the Eye2Because the different parts of the eye work together so seamlessly, many of us think of the eye as one single body part. If asked to label the eye, most would be hard pressed to point out anything more than the pupil and the iris. The truth is, though, that the eye is a very interesting organ, with many different parts.

The parts of the eye that are visible when we look in the menu are:

  • The iris and pupil – The iris is the colored part of the eye, a ring-shaped tissue, and the pupil is the opening in the middle of the iris. Together, they control how much light enters the eye; the iris’s muscles cause the pupil to grow larger to let in more light in the dark or smaller when the light is bright.
  • The sclera – The sclera is the white part of the eye, a leatherlike tissue that surrounds the eye and gives it shape.
  • Conjunctiva – The conjunctiva is thin, clear skin that covers the front of the eye, and helps to keep bacteria and other foreign material from getting behind it.
  • Cornea – The cornea is located just in front of the iris, and is so clear that you may not even realize it is there. It acts as a lens and helps focus light as it enters the eye.

What you cannot see may be even more interesting.

  • Extraocular Muscles – Each eye has six extraocular muscles to help move it left and right, up and down, and diagonally.
  • Crystalline lens – The lens is a clear, flexible structure located just behind the iris and the pupil, and is surrounded by a ring of muscular tissue called the ciliary body. Together, these components work to control the focus of light passing through the eye.
  • Optic Nerve – The optic nerve is comprised of one million nerve fibers that transmit nerve signals from the eye to the brain. Its front surface, the optic disk, is visible on the retina.
  • Vitreous Cavity – Behind the lens but in front of the retina is the vitreous cavity, which is filled with a gel-like fluid, called the vitreous humor. The vitreous humor helps maintain the shape of the eye.
  • Retina – The retina converts light signals into nerve signals that are sent to the optic nerve and carried to the brain for processing. The retina contains rods and cones to help you see colors in high and low light, and the macula, which provides sharp central vision.

The eye is a fascinating organ, seemingly simple to look at, but in truth very complex. The way the parts of the eye work together to enable sight is miraculous in its efficiency. Vision is something we often take for granted, but it is good to know all that is involved in its function.

Key-Whitman Eye Center is a leader in LASIK and Cataract surgery in Dallas, Fort Worth, and North Texas. If you have any more questions, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

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