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August 23, 2018
There’s more to eyesight than meets the eye (pun intended). Your eyes and brain work in tandem to produce the shapes and colors that we see as a beautiful summer sunset, for example.
But how exactly does it work? It’s form meets function at its best. In fact, the eye functions in a very similar way to a camera. Light enters through an opening. There’s a lens for focusing and a light-sensitive membrane at the back.
In short, the eye is nothing short of a wonder organ, as it can control the amount of light it takes in through muscles in the iris. These muscles contract and relax to alter the size of the pupil. The light first passes through the cornea, and then moves into the lens. This part of the eye bends the light, ultimately onto the retina.
The powerhouse of the eye, the retina is covered in millions of light-sensitive receptors known as rods and cones. Each receptor contains pigment molecules. These ultra-sensitive receptors are shapeshifters when hit by light. In response, they trigger an electrical message that travels to the brain via the optic nerve.
Vision is truly a miracle, when you consider that our eyes are only able to produce two-dimensional images. The brain’s advanced processing means it’s able to build these flat pictures into a 3-D view. Our eyes are positioned about two inches apart, so each sees the world from a slightly different angle. The brain compares the two pictures, using the differences to create the illusion of depth.
Color is another variable entirely. Open your eyes, and you experience a wide variety of colors, but the reality is that you can only detect three different wavelengths of light, corresponding to green, blue, and red. Combining these three signals in the brain creates millions of different shades. Can you imagine how different life would be if you just saw in green, red and blue, like our pets do?
So, as you can see, vision is really a result of your eyes and brain working together to allow you to take in the beauty of the world. Visit your Midwest Eye Consultants doctor regularly to have your eyes examined. In between examinations, if you notice a change in or are concerned about your eyesight, know that we are just a phone call away.