Anatomy of the Eye

You may have heard the analogy that our eyes work like cameras: Light enters the camera through the shutter and is focused by the lens to produce a sharp image on the film at the back of the camera. The film with the captured image is then sent to a lab to be developed and printed.

Our eyes work in much the same manner: Light enters our eye through the pupil (shutter) and is focused by the lens to produce a sharp image on the retina (film) at the back of the eye. The image captured on the retina is then sent via the optic nerve to the brain (lab) to be developed and 'printed' by the mind's eye.


Vascular layer of the eye lying between the retina and the sclera, it provides nourishment to outer layers of the retina.


The transparent tissue that covers the iris and pupil at the front of the eye. It helps focus incoming light.


Central pit in the macula that produces sharpest vision.


The clear biconvex (curved on both sides) lens of the eye helps focus light through the vitreous to the retina.



The small central layer of tissue in the retina, responsible for central vision.


Largest sensory nerve of the eye, it carries visual information from the retina to the brain.


Pigmented tissue lying behind the cornea that gives color to the eye (e.g., blue or brown eyes) and contracts or expands to let more or less light into the eye through the pupil.


The variable-sized black circular opening in the center of the iris regulating the amount of light that enters the eye.


The lining of the rear two-thirds of the eye, it converts images from the eye's optical system into electrical impulses sent along the Optic Nerve to the brain.


The pigment cell layer just outside the retina that nourishes retinal visual cells; it is firmly attached to underlying choroid and overlying retinal visual cells and composed of one layer of cells that are densely packed with pigment granules.


Opaque, fibrous, protective outer layer of the eye ("white of the eye") that is directly continuous with the cornea in front and with the sheath covering optic nerve behind.


Transparent, colorless gel that fills the rear two-thirds of the interior of the eyeball, between the lens and the retina.


AMD Alliance International is not a medical organisation, therefore we can only provide general information that is not intended to be a substitute for a proper medical assessment. Please read our eye health information disclaimer.

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