Our eyes are a mystery to most of us. They’re one of the most important body parts we have, yet we don’t really know how they work. When undergoing an eye exam, it can be confusing to understand what’s going on and how your eyes are performing. That’s because not many people know how their eyes actually work. To make the process easier to understand, especially for children’s eye exams, you should know the basics when it comes to your eyes and how they work to produce your eyesight. It’s simpler than you think and will make your and your children’s eye exams much more informative. In order for your eyes to produce an image, they complete a five-step process:
Step 1: Light Enters The Eye
For our eyes to produce an image, there needs to be light. When looking at an object, light will reflect off of it and into our eyes. This light will pass through the first layer of our eyes, the cornea, which is the clear front layer of the eye. The cornea will bend the light before letting it pass through the area behind the cornea, a watery substance called the aqueous humor.
Step 2: The Pupil Adjusts
Once the light has passed through the cornea and aqueous humor, it will then continue to travel through the black opening in the center of your eye, called the pupil. Depending on the intensity of the light being passed through your eye, the pupil might contract or expand, making the black center of your eye bigger or smaller. This change in size is actually done by the iris, the colored part of your eye. The iris will contract or expand to control the size of your pupil and stop too much light from entering your eye, as this can damage your eyesight!
Step 3: The Lens Bends The Light
Behind the pupil is the lens. This will bend and focus the light a second time to make sure the image you see is clear. Most eyesight issues will be due to the lens not being shaped correctly to bend the light to its final destination which can cause near or farsightedness. This can be detected extremely early in life if taken for a children’s eye exam.
Step 4: The Light Is Focused Onto The Retina
Once the light has passed through the lens, it hits the back of the eye reaching the retina. This is the light-sensitive layer at the back of your eyes. The retina is filled with nerves called photoreceptors, these transform light rays into electrical impulses. The light is focused throughout the retina and turns into electrical impulses ready for the next step.
Step 5: The Information Is Transmitted To The Brain
The electrical impulses are then carried to the brain by the optic nerve at the very back of the eye. The electrical impulses reach the optical lobe in the back of the brain, and your brain reads these impulses and creates the image that you see!