The Eye is a Complex Structure Made of Many Parts
Your body has five senses that allow you to perceive the world in its entirety: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Your sight is a sense that many believe they couldn’t live without. After all, how can you effectively drive, read and write, prepare food, get dressed, and more without functioning vision?
Most of us take our vision for granted, expecting it to always work. However, hardly any of us understand how our eyes work to allow us to see the world around us. The eye is far more complex than we give it credit for, comprising of several important pieces that allow our vision to work.
How It Works
For you to be able to see, light rays must first be reflected off the object you are looking at. They must then pass through the cornea, which is the thin, transparent outer layer of the eye. The cornea bends, or refracts, the light in a way that allows the light rays to easily pass through the pupil.
The iris, the colored portion surrounding the pupil, acts like the shutter of a camera, growing or shrinking the pupil. Whether the iris shrinks or grows depends on the amount of light entering the eye.
Once the light has passed through the iris, it then makes its way to the eye’s lens. The lens is a clear, flexible structure, changing shape to further bend light rays to focus them on the retina.
The retina is found at the back of the eye. This thin layer of tissue is comprised of millions of tiny, light-sensing nerve cells. These nerve cells are known as either rods or cones due to their distinct shapes. Cones help you see during the day and allow you to see color and fine details, while rods allow you to see at night.
Cones are usually found in the center of the retina, the area known as the macula. Rods, on the other hand, sit on the outside of the macula, extending to the edges of the retina. This allows them to provide you with peripheral vision.
Finally, once these cells in the retina absorb the light rays and convert them into electrical impulses, they are passed through the optic nerve where they are sent to the brain to process the image.
Dangers to Your Vision
While our eyes are designed to create the clearest vision imaginable, there are still some conditions and diseases that threaten our vision. Some of these include:
- Keratoconus: While regular eyes have a dome-shaped cornea, keratoconus results in a cone-like bulge in the cornea, causing light rays to enter the eye at different angles and not focusing on the retina.
- Macular Degeneration: For those who have age-related macular degeneration, the macula at the center of their retina begins to suffer damage and deteriorate, causing you to struggle to see objects directly in front of you.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve suffers damage and results in vision loss and even blindness.
- Cataract: Cataract is typically identified by a clouding in the eye’s natural lens.
These are just a few of the common conditions that can lead to a decline in your vision. If you start to notice issues with your visions or eyes, it is best to seek the opinion of an eye care specialist.
The eye is an incredibly complex part of your body that gives us the ability to see the world around us. Many take this ability for granted, and many don’t know exactly how the eye operates. The eye care specialists at First Eye Care North Arlington are here to help you understand how your vision works and how to maintain it.