When it comes to your five senses, nothing quite compares with the miracle that is sight. Eye function, which most of us take for granted, is, in fact, a very delicate balance between processing and interpretation. Understanding that seeing is a process rather than an event can give you an expanded view on just what is going on behind your peepers.
The gift of sight is really just that–a gift. But the eyes get all the glory when really, the actual seeing process originates in your brain. Think of your eye as the central processor that absorbs information (light waves) and sends this information to the mainframe–your brain.
Light rays rebound off what you are seeing then and enter the eyes through your cornea. In turn, your cornea reacts to the light by bending–refracting–the light rays that pass through pupil. Your iris, or the colored part of your eye that circles your pupil, constricts or opens depending on the amount of light that is interacting with it. These movements of your iris affect the size of your pupil, making it either smaller or bigger to regulate the amount of light that can safely travel through.
After the light has passed from your cornea, to your iris and through your pupil, it then has to pass through the lens of your eye. Your lens also changes its shape so it can accommodate and bed the light rays which are now focused on the retina. (Your retina sits at the back of your eye and influences how you interpret and see what is in front of you.) This thin layer of tissue houses millions of microscopic light-sensing nerve cells (rods and cones). These cells in the retina transform the light into electrical impulses that your optic nerve can send to your brain, which then produces and projects the image of what your eyes are looking at.
The cones reside in the center of your retina in your macula. When they are exposed to bright light rays, they deliver sharp, clear central vision with all the colors and fine details of what you are seeing. The rods reside outside the macula and reach the the outer edge of your retina. Rods provide peripheral vision and act as motion sensors. Rods are also charged with helping you see at night or in dimly lit locations.
Eye function is more complex than you thought, right? Definitely, but when you consider all that eyes do for you, and the speed by which they do it, eye function really is remarkable.
While the eye has many components and parts involved in eye function and the sight process. The main parts of eye function include the:
Although the optic nerve is part of the eye, it is considered part of the central nervous system. It is made up of over one million nerve fibers. It runs from the back of the eyeball, through an opening in the orbit known as the optic foramen.
From here, the optic nerve connects to the brain and acts as a conduit, transmitting visual information into the brain. Other nerves within the eye carry non-visual information and send messages about pain or help to control motor activity within the eye. The optic nerve is critical for eye function and vision.
An eye exam is a perfect time for you to open up a dialogue between yourself and your eye doctor about eye function, eye concerns and questions. Eye exams give your eye care professional the opportunity to both educate you about your eyes, but to also evaluate your current eye health/eye function.
At Peepers Optical, our Denver, Colorado, team of eye doctors and certified opticians are highly trained in performing a range of eye tests and exams. In addition to basic vision screening, we conduct eye health evaluations, provide patient resources, prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses, and check for any signs of ocular disease. Call (303) 223-0401 to schedule an appointment for better vision and an inside look at your greatest sense–sight!