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Trabecular meshwork


The trabecular meshwork is a specialised structure located between the iris and the base of the cornea. It regulates eye pressure by draining a type of fluid produced inside the eye called the aqueous humour. This is different from tears which is produced outside of the eye.

The aqueous humour provides nourishment to cells inside the eye and also to keep the eye inflated. The pressure to keep the eye inflated is what eye doctors commonly refer to as the eye pressure. The production of aqueous humour is constantly matched by the drainage to the trabecular meshwork to maintain normal eye pressure.

A diagram revealing the inside of the eye. The trabecular meshwork is a small drainage structure located between the clear window of the eye (cornea) and the coloured part of the eye (iris).
Location of the trabecular meshwork. The blue arrow indicates the direction of flow of the aqueous humour.


If the trabecular meshwork is not working properly, the eye pressure will increase to harmful levels that might damage the optic nerve, causing visual loss. This condition is known as glaucoma. It affects our field of vision (peripheral vision) and patients do not tend to notice any symptoms early on in the disease. However, patients will start noticing their field of vision getting smaller as the disease progresses, eventually leading to tunnel vision. Glaucoma that are present from birth are know as primary congenital glaucoma.

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A person driving a car with normal peripheral vision is able to see the girl in a red dress on the left. If the driver has a loss of peripheral vision, the same girl is not noticeable.
Glaucoma can cause loss of peripheral vision
Seeing from the perspective of someone with tunnel vision. The person can see buildings from a small central area of his/her vision but the side vision around the central area is blurry.
Tunnel vision