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Retina

The retina is a thin nerve membrane that detects light entering the eye. Nerve cells in the retina send signals of what the eye sees along the optic nerve to the brain.

The retina lines the back two-thirds of the eye and is made up of two layers: the sensory retina and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

The macula, near the center of the retina at the back of the eyeball, provides the sharp, detailed, central vision a person uses for focusing on what is directly in the line of sight. The rest of the retina provides side (peripheral) vision, which lets a person see shapes but not fine details.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 7, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.