The Science Behind Perfect Eyesight

Image of an eye.

It's easy to take vision for granted when the eyes perform flawlessly. However, when eye problems crop up, it's hard not to wonder how the eyes work. In a properly functioning eye, a number of elements must cooperate perfectly to create good vision; just one malfunctioning factor in this instantaneous process can cause blurry vision, pain or even blindness. The entire field of optometry is dedicated to managing vision problems and determining the best method of correcting poor vision.

The Birth of a Picture

Vision begins when light rays are reflected off objects and into the eyes via the cornea, a transparent bulge that covers the front of the eyeball. The cornea refracts, or bends, the light rays so that they pass through the dark, small round hole, called the pupil. The amount of light permitted to enter the pupil is regulated by the iris, the colored part of the eye that changes the size of the iris.

After passing through the pupil, the light rays shine through the lens. This remarkable component changes it shape to bend the rays as needed to focus them on the retina located at the back of the eyeball.

Translating the Picture

The retina is composed of millions of two types of nerve cells that detect the light. Cones are found primarily in the center of the retina, in a region called the macula, and specialize in sharp vision with fine details and colors. Rods reside beyond the macula to provide peripheral (side) vision, detect motion outside the central vision, and provide vision in dim or dark lighting conditions.

Decoding the Message

Both cones and rods convert the received light rays into specific patterns of electrical impulses to be delivered to the brain through the optic nerve. In the brain, the impulses are assembled and decoded to form an image.

When Things Don’t Line Up

The overall shape of the eyeball ultimately determines how well the eye can focus and receive the incoming image; when a patient experiences poor or blurry vision, an optometrist exams the eye to figure out what went wrong.

Normally, the eye retains a spherical shape. If the shape changes, such as with an elongated eyeball, the cornea's curvature will no longer focus the incoming light rays appropriately to match the distance from the lens to the retina.

Consultation with an optometrist can determine whether corrective lenses or surgery are needed to restore properly focused vision.

Sources:

American Optometric Association (2013). How Your Eyes Work.


Get the Scoop.

Office Hours

Monday:

8:00 am

5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am

6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am

5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am

6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am

4:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I saw Dr. Kaplan. This Dr. Was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. Will recommend to others."
    Roxane W.

Featured Articles

Read up on informative topics

  • New Year, New Vision in 2020

    Tired of squinting when you read? Add an eye exam to your list of New Year's resolutions. ...

    Read More
  • How To Read Your Eyeglass Prescription

    Have you ever wondered what your eyeglass prescription says about your vision? ...

    Read More
  • Are Floaters A Sign Of Something Bigger?

    Worried about floaters? Find out when this common vision symptom can be a sign of a serious problem. ...

    Read More
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do I need to see an eye care provider? Many “silent” diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetes, can only be detected through regular eye exams. When these conditions are discovered earlier rather than later, they become easier to treat or manage, allowing for better long-term preservation of eyesight. ...

    Read More
  • Pediatric Ophthlamology

    Ophthalmology addresses the physiology, anatomy and diseases of the eyes. Pediatric ophthalmology focuses on the eyes of children. Pediatric ophthalmologists examine children’s eyes to see if they need corrective lenses or other treatments to improve their vision. Training for Pediatric Ophthalmologists Pediatric ...

    Read More
  • Allergies

    Caused by the same irritants as hay fever, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, eye allergies commonly affect those who suffer from other allergy symptoms. Not only do eye allergies cause discomfort, but they can also interfere with daily activities. Eye Allergy Causes Medically referred to as allergic ...

    Read More
  • Learning-Related Vision Problems

    Learning disabilities may include dyslexia, math disorder, writing disorder, auditory processing deficits, or visual processing deficits. Although each child with a learning disability is unique, many also have associated visual problems. Addressing these vision disorders may alleviate some symptoms ...

    Read More
  • UV Radiation and Your Eyes

    Optometry warnings about the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation on our eyes have not yet reached the degree of public awareness of that of skin damage. Yet, the sun can be just as damaging upon our eyes with unprotected exposure. Short-term exposure to very bright sunlight can result in a type ...

    Read More
  • How To Protect Your Eyes While Wearing Halloween-Themed Contact Lenses

    Spooky novelty contact lenses can make your Halloween costume even scarier, but are they safe? ...

    Read More
  • Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

    Fuchs' dystrophy (pronounced fooks DIS-truh-fee) is an eye disease characterized by degenerative changes to the cornea’s innermost layer of cells. The cause for Fuchs' dystrophy is not fully understood. If your mother or father has the disease, then there is roughly a 50 percent chance that you will ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles