Your eyes are amazing tools for viewing the environment around you. They are made up of countless nerves and parts that all work together to make vision possible. Did you know that the brain is actually the organ that does the “seeing”? Light rays reflect off what you are looking at and enter the eyes through the cornea. From there, different parts of your eye react to that light and eventually send signals to the brain to tell you what you are viewing and how to interpret it. There are many amazing parts of the eye such as the retina, the orbit, cornea, lens, iris, the optic nerve, and more. Find out what each of these parts does to help you see the world around you and how the brain interprets light!
Think of all of the things you see every day with your eyes. Think of how important your eyes are for getting through even the simplest tasks morning, day, and night. What would you do without your eyesight? Your eyes enable you to participate in the environment around you in an amazing way. They are the complex organs that allow us to “see” by telling the brain about the light your eyes are receiving. Understanding your eyes and how they function is essential for treating them correctly and receiving proper care throughout your life.
Did you know that your eyes don’t actually “see”? The brain is the organ that actually does the seeing for you. Think of your eye as a central processor of sorts. Light is bouncing around you all over the place in the form of light waves in the visible light spectrum. That light spectrum is made up of all the colors of light that our eyes can see (which is why it’s called the “visible” light spectrum). Your eyes take the information in the form of light waves and transmit the information to the brain. Light rays reflect off objects you are looking at and go through a process in the eye that eventually tells your brain what you are seeing. There are many parts of your eyes that make vision possible.
Your eyes are very complex organs that go through so many processes in just a split second. In a nutshell, light waves reflect off objects you are looking at. The light then passes through the cornea or the outer shell of your eye. Your cornea reacts to those light waves by bending the light and passing it through the pupil. Your iris, or the colored part of your eye, constricts or opens to let light in depending on how bright or dark the light is. This regulates the amount of light that passes through your eye at once (which is why you have to close or squint your eyes with really bright lights).
After the pupil, the light goes to the lens of your eye, which changes shape based on how much light there is. Then that light hits the back of your eye where a tissue called the retina lies. The retina is perhaps the most important part of your eye. This thin layer of tissue houses microscopic nerve cells that transform light waves into electrical impulses. The optic nerve uses those electrical impulses as a type of telegraph, which sends signals to your brain of what the light is. Those impulses help produce an image in your brain of what the object is that you are looking at and how to interpret the colors you are seeing. All of these processes are happening constantly without you even thinking about it.
We mentioned a few parts of your eyes. Now let’s see what those parts (and others) do:
The Orbit - This is essentially your eye socket that holds your eyes in place. It has 7 bones that all come together to create a socket that points towards the back of your head. To protect your eye, there is a layer of fat surrounding it so that it has some cushion.
Your Eyes - You have 3 layers in your eyeball. The outer is the cornea and sclera, the middle is where your blood supply is, and the innermost area is where the retina is. In the middle layer, you also have your iris and pupil. In your eyes, you also have layers of fluid between the cornea and iris, the iris and the lens, and the lens and the retina. Those fluids provide nourishment and structure to your eyes.
Cornea and Sclera - This is the clear portion of your eye that covers the iris and the pupil. It takes up 1/6th of the area of your eyes. The sclera is the opaque part of the rest of your eye. These areas have many blood vessels that provide nourishment to the tissues.
Iris and Pupil - This is the colored part of your eye. It surrounds the black circle in the center of your eyeball. The iris can be a range of colors depending on your genetics. The pupil is a black hole of sorts. It acts like a camera aperture, allowing specific amounts of light to enter your eyes. These work similar to a camera as they let light in as images are taken in and sent to the brain.
Lens and Retina - These lie behind the iris. The lens focuses light onto your retina, which contains light-sensitive nerve tissues. These photosensitive cells convert light into electrical signals that are carried to the brain by the optic nerve.
Many people don’t continue seeing clearly or at all because of poor eye health or chronic conditions that take away the eye’s ability to see. That’s why it’s important to see your eye doctor frequently, at least yearly. If you need to schedule your eye exam to check your vision, call Optical Masters today at (720) 782-2190!