South Portland: 207-773-3361
Auburn: 207-783-1394
South Paris: 207-743-6577

How the Eye Works

Eyes are the organs of vision. Through a complex process, they detect and focus light to create images. Vision begins when light rays are reflected off of an object and enters the eye through the cornea and then pupil. It then passes through the crystalline lens which refracts light to be focused on the retina. By changing shape, the lens functions to change the focal distance of the eye so it can focus on objects at various distances.

When light hits the retina, tiny cells, rods, and cones capture the light signals and convert them into electrochemical impulses in neurons. Rods communicate the object’s shape by reading black and white and shades of gray. Cones communicate the color of the object. Working together, the rods and cones process the light. They then create an image by triggering nerve impulses that pass to the image centers in the brain via the optic nerve.

It’s important to understand how the eye works so you can understand your body. The better informed we are about our health, the easier it is to note potential symptoms and to take an active role in preventative care.

Did you know:

  • Eyes heal much faster than many other parts of the body. It can take as little as 48 hours for a corneal scratch to heal.
  • Our visual systems are so complex, they involve more than half of the brain to function properly.
  • You may think babies cry a lot, but the real tears don’t start flowing until babies are at least four weeks old. They cry before then (and even while in the womb), but no tears are produced.

If you have any questions about your vision or eye health, contact us right away. We are happy to have an eye care professional explain any of these concepts or evaluate your eye health.

Watch this video to learn more about how your eyes work!

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  • 9:00am - 5:00pm
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