Structure and function of the eye Flashcards Preview

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What is the difference between basal and reflex tears?

Basal tears are produced in absence of irritation or stimulation.
Reflex tears are a result of irritation.


Describe the production of reflex tears

Afferent detection of irritation from the cornea innervated by V1 ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve.
Efferent to parasympathetic nerve to lacrimal gland
ACh is the neurotransmitter


Describe the production and drainage of tears during crying

Tears are produced by the lacrimal gland
They drain via two pact and the upper and lower medial lid margins
Pass through superior and inferior canniculi which converge to a single canniculi
Drains the tear sac via the tear duct/nasolacrimal duct -> inferior meatus


What is the purpose of the tear film?

Maintains a smooth cornea-air surface
Supplies oxygen and nutrients as there is no blood supply
Clears surface debris


What are the layers of the tear film?

Superficial oily layer: reduces tear film evaporation, produced by Meibomian glands
Aqueous tear film; contains oxygen, nutrients and bactericide. Lubricates the eye.
Mucinous layer; Makes sure tear film adheres to the eye. Mucin molecules bind water molecules to hydrophobic corneal epithelial surface.


What is the conjunctiva?

Thin layer above the cornea; highly vascular, has conjunctival goblet cells which produce mucin molecules


What are the three layers of the coating of the eye and their function?

Sclera: maintains shape of the eye, has a high water content
Choroid: provides circulation
Retina: (neurosensory) converts light into nerve impulses to be sent to the brain via optic nerve


Describe the cornea and features of it

Dome-shaped convex curvature
Higher refractive index than air
provides 2/3rd of eye focusing power
Continuous with the sclera
Low water content


What are the layers of the cornea?

Bowman's membrane
Stroma; provides sensation and nutrients
Descemet's membrane


What is the purpose of the endothelium layer of the cornea?

Pumps fluid out of the stroma to prevent corneal oedema and blurred vision


What is the uvea?

Consists of the iris, ciliary body and choroid


Describe the lens structure and function

Outer acellular capsule
Regular inner elongated cell fibres; contributes to transparency
Higher refractive index than aqueous/vitreous humour
Provides 1/3rd of eye refractive power
Able to change shape and focus


What is meant by accommodation?

When the lens changes its shape in order to focus on near and distant objects e.g. near objects need thicker lens


What are lens zonules?

Also known as the suspensory ligaments.
They suspend the lens by connecting them to ciliary muscles. (passive connective tissue)
They do not contract, just pass force from contraction of ciliary muscles.


What is the macula?

Central part of retina, temporal to optic nerve
Responsible for detailed vision.
The fovea is the centra of the macula.


What are the two anatomical segments of the eye?

Anterior: cornea to lens contains aqueous humour. Supplies nutrients.
Posterior: posterior to the lens contains vitreous humour


Where is the ciliary body located?

Between the anterior and posterior segments, behind the iris.


What are the layers of the iris?

Anterior; stromal layer which is provided by the choroid, contains muscle fibres
Posterior; epithelial layer which is provided by the retina


Where is aqueous fluid produced and drained?

Produced by the ciliary body
Does not require a concentration gradient, it is energy dependent.
Aqueous fluid travels to the anterior chamber to circulate,
It is reabsorbed in the scleral-corneal angle where the trabecular meshwork is.


What are the two pathways of drainage for the aqueous fluid?

Uvea-scleral pathway: 20% drainage occurs here, resistance dependent pathway, fluid leaks between the sclera and choroid.
Schlemm's canal/trabecular meshwork: 80% of drainage, goes to the aqueous veins and bloodstream


What is the normal eye intraocular pressure?



How do you treat increased eye pressure?

Prostaglandin analogues


What is a 'definition' of glaucoma?

Optic neuropathy with retinal ganglion death, optic nerve fibre loss, enlarged optic disc cupping, visual field loss


What is the pressure standard for ocular hypertension?

21+mmHg with no development of glaucoma


What is primary open angle glaucoma?

Most common
Functional blockage of the trabecular meshwork


What is closed angle glaucoma, risk factors, presentation?

Chronic or acute
Forward displacement of iris/lens causes narrowing of trabecular meshwork pathway
Risk factors; small eye (hypermetropia)
Presents with painful red eye and acute drop in vision


What is the treatment for closed angle glaucoma?

Peripheral laser iridotomy; drainage hole in the iris is created


What is meant by central vision?

Necessary for focussed vision
Day and coloured vision
Fovea has the highest conc. of cones
Needed for facial recognition and reading
Assessment of visual acuity


What is meant by peripheral vision?

Necessary to detect motion, shape, night vision
Assessed by visual field assessment
Intact peripheral vision with loss of visual acuity can be classified as blindness


What is the connection between the choroid and retina?

The choroid is the blood supply to the outer 1/3rd of the retina (photoreceptors)