Monday, April 24, 2006

Section 3-A: The Glaucoma Eye. Normal Ocular Anatomy

A brief review of the normal anatomy and function of the eye will serve as a basis for understanding the abnormal disease processes that cause glaucoma.

Many of the structures of the eye closely resemble the components of a camera (Figure 3-1). The cornea and the lens focus images on the retina and are similar to the lens of a camera. The retina is the tissue of the eye that senses light and functions like the film of a camera. The iris controls the amount of the light that enters the eye as the diaphragm on a camera lens regulates the amount of light passing into the camera. Finally, the images detected by the retina are delivered by the optic nerve to the brain where vision is perceived. The optic nerve is the part of the eye that is damaged by glaucoma.

FIGURE 3-1. Basic anatomy of the eye. Structures of the eye are indicated on the cross-sectional image of a human eye shown on the left and a camera is shown on the right for comparison. (The image of the eye is courtesy of Nasreen Syed, MD, University of Iowa).


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