Your eyes are delicate, highly complex organs, and understanding how your visual system works is helpful in safeguarding your visual health. Here, your trusted eye doctor discusses how your eyes work in detail.
The Different Components of Your Eyes
Your eyes are some of the most vulnerable and complex structures in your body. Here are the main components that make up your eyes:
- Cornea: This is the dome-shaped structure that covers the front part of your eyes. It has a smooth, even surface and transparent coating that helps produce clear and sharp images. If you wear contact lenses, you insert them on top of your cornea.
- Pupil: This is the opening where light rays enter your eyes.
- Iris: The colored section of your eyes, which is primarily responsible for regulating light entry. It increases your pupil size in low-lit places and decreases the pupil opening in bright areas.
- Lens: The transparent structure behind the iris that helps focus light on the retina. It flattens when viewing distant objects and becomes curved when looking at nearby objects.
- Retina: The light-sensitive layer located at the back part of your eyes, which converts light into nerve signals.
- Optic Nerve: This carries the nerve signals to the occipital lobe of the brain for interpretation.
How Your Eyes and Brain Work Together
When you look at an object, light rays bounce off it and pass through your cornea. The iris then directs the pupil to the appropriate size depending on the amount of light entering your eyes. The lens will focus this received light on the retina, which converts it into nerve signals to be transported by the optic nerve to the brain for image translation.
Importance of Having Regular Eye Exams
Your sense of sight largely depends on how well your eyes and brain work together. Detecting light ray patterns is the foremost job of your eyes, while it is up to your brain to convert them into the images you actually “see.” This is why a comprehensive eye exam usually involves tests that evaluate the coordination between your neurological and visual systems. We recommend having eye exams regularly so we can identify and treat any potential problems in their early stages.
If you have any further questions on how your visual system works, call us at (301) 859-4060 or complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Washington, DC, Arlington, VA, and the nearby areas.