Understanding The Human Eye
The human eye is a delicate and complex organ that converts light waves into impulses that are then interpreted by our brains as images. It is considered by many in the scientific and medical communities to be the most complex organ in our bodies. Below is an overview of the components of the human eye and how the process of sight works.
Parts Of The Eye
How It All Works
The ability to see is a complex and delicate process that requires the various parts of the eye as well as the vision centers of the brain to work in concert. The process begins as light waves enter the eye through the cornea. As the primary focusing element of the eye, the cornea bends and focuses the light so it can pass through the pupil and enter the inner structures of the eye.
The pupil, which is controlled by the ring of muscles known as the iris, contracts and expands to limit the amount/intensity of light that enters the inner eye. In bright conditions, the pupil will contract, and in low light conditions, the pupil will expand.
Once through the pupil, the light then passes through the eye's secondary focus structure called the lens. Unlike the cornea, which is fixed, the lens has the ability to change shape, which allows the light to be fine tuned to a sharp focus before it passes onto the retina.
The retina works much like the film in a camera. It's an intricate layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye made up of photoreceptor cells (sometimes called rods and cones). As light hits the retina, it initiates a surge of chemical and electrical events that ultimately trigger nerve impulses. These impulses then travel through the optic nerve, located behind the eye, into the vision centers of the brain which finally get interpreted into the images we see everyday.
As you can see, it is an extremely delicate system with several working parts. Just a slight defect, like the curvature of the lens, the shape of the cornea, or damage to the retina can cause sometimes significant vision problems. That is why taking care of your eyes is critically important. Buenau's Opticians recommends all patients receive an annual eye exam. Early detection and prevention of several common eye disorders can signigicantly reduce eye damage and prevent vision loss.