Topic outline

  • Topic 1: Extraocular Muscle


    The eyeballs are highly mobile. They dart around within the eye socket pointing wherever we direct them. These fine movements require an intricate balance of muscles which must all contract and relax in close synchrony to keep the visual field from becoming distorted.

    This module takes a closer look at the muscles that move the eyes. We open with a review of basic anatomy reminding ourselves of the names, locations, and insertions of each extraocular muscle. Next we discuss the innervations of these muscles which will help us better understand how different types of injury can affect eye movement.

    After reviewing anatomy, we turn to the terminology behind ocular motion. This is an important aspect of learning ophthalmology as these terms are used ubiquitously to quickly and accurately describe the problems we observe when document a patient exam. We also touch briefly on the locations of central and reflexive control for different types of eye movement.

    Finally, we discuss the presentations and treatments associated with different types of nerve palsies affecting the extraocular muscles. We learn some basic algorithms which can help us identify what nerves are damaged based on a patient's ability to move his eyes.

    Eyes which are fixed in the head would be far less useful than the nimble mobile eyes we take for granted every day. How is it that this motion is coordinated with such fine detail? Let's find out.

    Issue Date: 08/01/2020

  • Topic 2: Introduction to Pediatric Ophthalmology


    As with many aspects of medicine, sometimes it's important to set aside time for discussing unique problems affecting our pediatric patients. In the case of Ophthalmology this includes review of the way in which the visual system develops. We also need to touch on how children present when these visual systems aren't developing properly.

    This is a short module. We open by learning some of the unique techniques employed when performing a pediatric eye exam.

    Then we move on to the commonly recognized problem of "Lazy Eye." This term has been diluted colloquially so we have two separate lectures reviewing different but related diagnoses both of which are often called "Lazy Eye."

    Finally, we learn briefly about the Red Reflex and how this phenomenon most commonly associated with photography can be useful for getting advanced notice that something might be wrong with a child's eye.

    Children make for a sometimes difficult but always extremely fun and rewarding patient population. Let's take some time out from our study of general ophthalmology to learn about the unique ocular problems that children face.

    Issue Date: 08/01/2020