The optic disc is an elevation on the medial aspect of the retina where the sensory fibers and retinal vessels pass through the eyeball. The nerve fibers are conveyed via the optic nerve (CN II) and they travel alongside the central retinal artery and vein.
The optic disc is oval-shaped and located exactly 3 mm nasaly (medially) to macula lutea. It has a slight central depression called the physiologic cup. This cup marks a point where the retinal vessels pass.
The optic disc is the only area on the retina without any photoreceptors; hence it is known as the 'blind spot' of the eye.
Because of its visibility upon clinical examination (ophthalmoscopy), it carries a great clinical significance. The enlargement of the disc (also known as the edema of the disc or papilloedema) may be the first sign of the raised intracranial pressure. In addition, the structural changes of the disc can also indicate the presence of raised intraocular pressure.
English: Optic disc
Latin: Discus nervi optici
|Definition||Slight elevation on the retina without photoreceptors|
|Function||A passageway for the nerve fibers of the optic nerve and retinal vessels from the intracranial space into the eyeball and vice versa|
|Clinical significance||An indicator of an increased intracranial pressure|
Learn more about the anatomy on the eyeball with the following study unit:
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