Anatomy of The Eye 101

This article is for informational purposes only and does not diagnose any conditions


This is a diagram showcasing the basic anatomy of the eye. In learning about ocular disease, it is helpful to understand the basic structure and mechanics of the eye.


Basic Eye Anatomy and Function


  1. Iris – Colored pigmented surface which excludes the passage of light except through the pupil

  2. Cornea – Transparent dome shaped portion of the eye, that covers the iris acting like a window which emits light into the eyes

  3. Aqueous humor – Transparent fluid that nourishes the lens and the epithelial cells

  4. Lens – Transparent structure of the eye that changes shape to focus incoming light from near and far

  5. Ciliary muscle – Smooth muscle to permit the lens to become more convex

  6. Choroid – Vascular membrane containing pigmented cells

  7. Optic Nerve – Cranial nerve which carries electric impulses to the brain for interpretation

  8. Fovea – Contains cones and affords the most acute vision

  9. Retina – Stimulation by light initiates reaction in which the impulses are transmitted to the brain, producing the sensation of vision

  10. Macula – Located in the central retina. Color sensitive rods and central point of the sharpest vision

  11. Vitreous humor – Transparent gelatinous substance filling the eyeball behind the lens

  12. Sclera – Dense white fibrous membrane, forms external covering of eyeball

  13. Ciliary Body / Ciliary Zonules – Holds the lens in place; stretches and loosens