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How the Eye Works

Light reflected off an object passes through the cornea. Muscles around the eye contract or relax to adjust the shape of the lens, focusing the light rays. The rays then reach the retina, where over 100 million light-sensitive cells read them and transmit the image through the optic nerve to the brain. Because the light rays cross while going through the cornea, the retina reads the image upside down—but the brain readjusts so you stay properly oriented.

Cornea–a clear window that transmits and focuses light into the eye
Iris–the colored disc that helps regulate the amount of light entering the eye
Pupil–the dark center of the iris that changes size to accommodate available light
Lens–the transparent structure that focuses light rays onto the retina
Retina–the nerve layer that reads light rays and sends images through the optic nerve to the brain
Macula–the small area of the retina that uses special light-sensitive cells to clarify fine details
Optic Nerve–the nerve that connects the eye to the brain
Vitreous Humor–the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye


Common Eye Disorders

Nearsightedness:
Nearsightedness or myopia occurs when the cornea is too steep relative to the length of the eyeball.  As light enters the eye, the visual image comes to a focus in front of the retina, resulting in a defective, blurred or distorted view of distant objects. 

Farsightedness:
Farsightedness or hyperopia occurs when the cornea is too flat relative to the length of eyeball.  As light enters the eye, the visual image focuses behind the retina resulting in a defective, blurred or distorted view of both close and distant objects.

Astigmatism:
Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when an eye is shaped like a football instead of the rounder, basketball shape of a normal eye.  The irregular shape of the cornea results in two focal points, or blurred vision.  The uneven bending of light rays entering the eyes causes this distortion.

Presbyopia:
Presbyopia occurs as a result of the inability of the lens to focus incoming light.  The focusing lens becomes unable to change shape and focus on close objects. This results in blurred vision at a reading distance, as well as eyestrain. Presbyopia most often develops in people in their forties.

Amblyopia:
Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is a condition when vision in one eye is significantly worse than the other.  The diminished sight in the one eye is not an eye disease and therefore, difference in the acuity cannot be improved.  

Strabismus:
Strabismus, also called eye turns, occurs when one or both eyes turn and are not working together.  This can be a cause of amblyopia.

Binocularity:
Binocularity, or eye teaming, is the process in which both eyes work together to form one image in the brain in order to avoid double vision or other reading difficulties.  Eye teaming may occur because of focusing problems, strabismus or amblyopia.


How Contact Lenses Work

Contact lenses are thin transparent plastic discs that sit on the cornea. They work like eyeglasses in that they correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). With these conditions, the eye doesn't focus light directly on the retina as it should, leading to blurry vision. Contact lenses are shaped based on the vision problem to help the eye focus light directly on the retina.

Contact lenses are closer to natural sight than eyeglasses. They move with your eye and correct the refractive error closer to the eye to allow for a more natural field of vision. They don't get in the way of your line of sight, like glasses can. Contact lenses can be worn all day, or even several weeks at a time, so you don't have to worry about putting them on and taking them off constantly.

Contact lenses stay in place by sticking to the layer of tear fluid that floats on the surface of the eye. Eyelid pressure also holds them in place. As the eye blinks, it provides lubrication to the cornea and helps flush away any impurities that may have become stuck to the lens.

     

         


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      The material presented on this website is provided for informational purposes only. Always follow your eye care professional's advice for proper contact wear and care. Discontinue use of contacts if any pain or discomfort occurs.

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