cornea cor·ne·a (kôr'nē-ə)
The transparent, convex, anterior portion of the outer fibrous coat of the eyeball that covers the iris and the pupil and is continuous with the sclera.
|cornea (kôr'nē-ə) Pronunciation Key
The tough transparent membrane of the outer layer of the eyeball that covers the iris and the pupil.
dome-shaped transparent membrane about 12 mm (0.5 inch) in diameter that covers the front part of the eye. Except at its margins, the cornea contains no blood vessels, but it does contain many nerves and is very sensitive to pain or touch. It is nourished and provided with oxygen anteriorly by tears and is bathed posteriorly by aqueous humour. It protects the pupil, the iris, and the inside of the eye from penetration by foreign bodies and is the first and most powerful element in the eye's focusing system. As light passes through the cornea, it is partially refracted before reaching the lens. The curvature of the cornea, which is spherical in infancy but changes with age, gives it its focusing power; when the curve becomes irregular, it causes a focusing defect called astigmatism, in which images appear elongated or distorted.
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