Anatomy of the eye

Published on
October 25, 2022

Today, we're going to discuss a few general terms related to the anatomy of the eye. First, let's look at the front of the eye.

 

Cornea

The cornea is a clear layer that sits in front of the colored part of your eye. It is responsible for letting light through. Your prescription may depend on your cornea. The cornea is also affected by dry eyes and allergies. It is essential that this tissue remain clear and allow light to pass through in order to maintain good vision.

Iris

The iris is the colored part of the eye that controls light entering the eye. It is the most prominent part of the eye.

Pupil

Your pupil is located in the middle of your iris. Depending on your environment and the lighting, your iris and pupil actually contract or expand. If it's bright outside, it's going to contract to keep the pupil small and thereby prevent too much light from entering. When it is dark outside, the pupil will expand to let more light into the eye.

Lens

Lens is located behind the colored part of the eyes. It is responsible for your focusing system. When you're looking up close, the lens changes shape so that you can focus at the right distance. When you look out far away in the distance, it actually relaxes so that you can see clearly in the distance. The lens is crystal clear when you're born, but it becomes cloudier over time. That's what we call a cataract. Cataracts may develop as we age.

Retina

A retina is the back part of the eye, a tissue that has several layers, has cones and rods, and is responsible for gathering all the information and sending it to the brain. The way that it gets sent to your brain is through the optic nerve. 

Optic nerve

The optic nerve is an important structure that optometrists carefully observe for diseases like glaucoma, to ensure that tissue is healthy.

Macula

The macula, located in the middle of the retina, is another important area of your retina. It is responsible for your central vision, color vision and the details in your vision. A condition known as macular degeneration affects it, usually when you're older, and over time, waste and debris start to collect there and impact your vision.

Eyelids

The eyelids are the flaps of skin around the eyeball that cover and protect it. It consists of an upper lid and a lower lid.

Blood vessels and veins

Blood vessels and veins are also important components of the retina, as they transport nutrients, oxygen, and remove waste. As part of an eye exam, our eye doctors pay close attention to these, especially in cases of diabetes or high blood pressure. It is because in those diseases, the blood vessels can weaken, causing bleeding and leaking.

 

Get in touch with our Olympia eye doctors if you have any questions

In no case should a list be relied upon to replace professional examinations and treatment. You should always consult an optometrist if you experience any symptoms of eye injury, infection, or visual motor complications. Please feel free to reach out to our optometrist to learn more about these terms or other eye conditions. Call (360) 491-2121 to schedule an eye exam in Olympia.

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Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


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I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.


Amy Fagerness
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