The retina is the nerve layer that lines the inside back wall of the eye. Blood is supplied to the retina by the retinal artery which enters the eye through the optic nerve before branching into smaller blood vessels and eventually into microscopic capillaries. Blood is collected by retinal veins that exit the eye through the optic nerve. These veins are thicker and darker than retinal arteries.
Located in the center of the retina is the sensitive macula which provides central vision. When looking directly at an object, the macula allows us to see fine detail. This sharp straight-ahead vision is necessary for driving, reading, recognizing faces, and detailed work such as sewing. The majority of the retina lies outside the macula, providing peripheral or side vision.