You know you have eyes – and many of us comment and compliment others about their eyes – but what insight do you have into the windows to your soul?
Probably very little…
To rectify this, we take the opportunity to give you a basic understanding of these vital and important organs, about the size of a ping-pong ball.
Many parts of your eye and your brain join forces to allow you to see – and that’s called vision. The integral parts turn light and electrical signals into the images that you see.
The parts of the eye that make up components of vision include:
- the cornea – the front layer of your eye – is dome-shaped, and it bends the light that enters your eye
- the pupil – the black dot in the centre of your eye – is the gateway for light and, controlled by the iris, it dilates in dim light and contracts in bright light
- the iris – the colour of your eye – is a muscle that controls the contraction and dilation of the pupil
- the lens – behind the iris and pupil – works with your cornea to focus the light that enters the eye and brings images into sharp focus so that you can see detail, clearly
- the retina – the layer of tissue, at the back of the eye – transforms the light coming into your eye into electrical signals, which are sent to the brain where they are recognised as images
- the fovea – a small depression in your retina – contains cones to aid in proper, clear vision
- the macula – close to the centre of your retina – allows you to see objects in great detail
- the optic nerve – the connecting element between the retina and the brain – transmits the electrical signals, formed in the retina, to the brain which creates images
- tears – designed to keep your eyes wet, and help you focus clearly – also help protect your eyes from irritation and infection.
Many different conditions can affect your vision. Your eyes, however, have protective measures to keep them healthy and functioning. These include:
- the anterior chamber – that rests behind your cornea but in front of your lens and iris – holds the aqueous humor and allows it to drain from your eyes into your bloodstream.
- the choroid – the small, vascular layer that sits between your eye’s sclera (the white portion) and retina – provides the outer layers of the retina with nourishment (through blood vessels) and oxygen
- the ciliary body – between your choroid and iris – produces the aqueous humor and holds the lens in place.
- the conjunctiva – the clear membrane covering the white portion of your eye, or the sclera; as well as the inside of your eyelids – produces mucus and tears to lubricate your eyes and keep microbes at bay
- the sclera – or whites of your eyes – contains collagen and protects the inner components of your eye
- vitreous humor – a transparent, gelatinous material between your lens and retina, and lines the back of your eye – contains cells called phagocytes that remove debris from your eye, so you don’t develop eye infections.
There are several disorders that can interfere with the ability of light to pass from the eye to the brain. If you have problems seeing or experience any other issues with your eyes, make an appointment to see an optometrist because most ailments can be prevented or corrected.
Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal. What are your eyes saying?
We can decode the messages your eyes are relaying, so visit us in The Atrium Berea, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, in Overport.
We offer a safe, welcoming environment, follow all the Covid-19 health protocols – and implore you to follow good eye-care practices.