Source: Richard Glickman-Simon, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, MA
Proper evaluation of the eyes in a general practice setting involves vision testing, orbit inspection, and ophthalmoscopic examination. Before beginning the exam, it is crucial to be familiar with the anatomy and physiology of the eye. The upper eyelid should be slightly over the iris, but it shouldn't cover the pupil when open; the lower lid lies below the iris. The sclera normally appears white or slightly buff in color. The appearance of conjunctiva, a transparent membrane covering the anterior sclera and the inner eyelids, is a sensitive indicator of ocular disorders, such as infections and inflammation. The tear-producing lacrimal gland lies above and lateral to the eyeball. Tears spread down and across the eye to drain medially into two lacrimal puncta before passing into the lacrimal sac and nasolacrimal duct to the nose.
The iris divides the anterior from the posterior chamber. Muscles of the iris control the size of the pupil, and muscles of the ciliary body behind it control the focal length of the lens. The ciliary body also produces aqueous humor, which largely determines intraocular pressure (Figure 1). Cranial nerve…
Physical Examinations II