How the Eyes Work (or Not!) - Smart Vision Labs

For centuries, people have created ideas about how the eyes work and how vision happens. Several ancient civilizations made up elaborate stories about the eyes in an effort to understand the amazing ability of sight.

The Romans and Greeks thought that invisible rays were emitted from the eyes and caused a person to see images. The Chinese thought that dark quartz lenses would allow a person to see through objects and have excellent night vision. While these are interesting ideas that may have fueled the world of science fiction, they are far from the truth.

Eyesight is amazing, yet there is a straightforward explanation of how vision works.

  • Light enters through the cornea which is the outermost part of the eye.
  • The cornea bends the light rays so that they pass through the pupil to the lens.
  • The lens focuses the light onto the retina, which is located on the back surface of the eye.
  • The retina transforms the light rays into an electrical impulse and sends it to the brain through the optic nerve.
  • From this information, the brain constructs a high resolution, three-dimensional image that we ‘see.’

Although this process has been demonstrated to work well, problems with vision can occur. The most common types of problems are known as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. These conditions are called refractive errors and happen when the curvature of the eye stops the light rays from focusing directly on the retina.

The good news is that a vision exam can detect these abnormalities and a person can receive a prescription for corrective lenses.

For instance, in the case of nearsightedness, the light rays focus in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. Corrective lenses will bend the light rays to cause the correct focus. Farsightedness occurs when the light is focused behind the retina and, once again, lenses with the correct amount of curve will remedy this problem.

And that’s the key: determining if you have a vision abnormality and then addressing it with the right prescription.

You can have this information in as little as 5 minutes if you go to a provider who offers Smart Vision Exams. The exam starts by asking you a few questions about your overall health and your eyes. A scan of your eyes will be taken as well as photos. All of this data will be sent to a licensed doctor who will email you the results within 24 hours.

If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism issue, a prescription for corrective lenses will be written up. The right lens for your specific type of vision problem will allow the light rays to be focused directly on the retina, thereby making a clearer image for you to see.

Yes, vision is extraordinary but it’s also perfectly explainable. By determining how your eyes focus the light rays that enter through the pupil, a vision exam can diagnose and then offer a remedy for improvement.

There is no need to create a fantastic account of how the eyes work, like the ancient Romans and Greeks did. All you need is a 5-minute Smart Vision Exam.

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