The White of The Eye


The sclera is generally referred to as the white of the eye in the common language.

It is a tough and an opaque tissue. Hence it serves as the eye's protective outer coat.

There are six voluntary muscles, namely rectus (4 in number) and oblique (2 in number), that are connected to it around the eyeball. These muscles control the eye's movements.

The optic nerve is also attached to the sclera only at the back of the eye.

The eye is the organ of sight, that is an almost spherical hollow ball filled with fluids (humors).

The outer layer (sclera or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective.

The middle layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular.

The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory.

The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens).

The White of The Eye
The Sclera in The Eye
Credit: National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

The lens itself is a flexible organ and is held up in place and position by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.

In young age, the sclera is thinner and more translucent, allowing the underlying tissue to show through and giving it a bluish tinge.

As we grow older, the sclera tends to become more yellow.

A perfectly healthy human eye can see only one part of everything it looks at, the best; and all other parts relatively worse than that. Such an eye is said to have the most acute vision through central fixation.

An eye with any kind of vision problems (which most people have - whether apparent or latent) - loses this central fixation and gets rather economically fixated. The only way out is to get that central fixation back (possible!) through vision therapy.

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Return from Sclera to Human Eye

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