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How The Eye Works

How The Eye Works

Did you know?

Roughly half of traumatic eye injuries are related to ball sports,  45% of these happen in children younger than 14 and 90% of them are preventable. 




The human eye fits all of the structures necessary for vision inside it. It combines reflected light, lens imaging capability, multiple lighting adjustments, and information processing. When the eye worls as it should, it changes light into impulses that travel to the brain. There, these impulsess are interpreted as images.  

In order to understand exactly how the human eye works, first imagine a photographic camera. Cameras were actually developed with the human eye in mind.  

How do we see what we see? 

Light reflects off of objects. It then enters the eyeball through the cornea. The cornea accepts different light rays and bends them through the pupil, which is the dark opening in the center of the iris. The pupil expands and contracts in response to how much light is entering the eye. This movement is controlled by the iris of the eye. 

The adjusted light then passes into the lens of the eye, which is behind the pupil. From the lens, the light goes to the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. The retina is a membrane of photoreceptors (rods and cones), which convert light into electrical impulses. These then travel via the optic nerve at the back of the to the brain, where they are perceived as images.  

Vision is a delicate and flawed system 

A slight defect or change in any part of the eye can cause vision issues. This is why vision correction is common. Eyeglasses and contacts help your eye’s inner structures process and interpret light more efficiently and clearly.  

The main parts of the human eye  

Cornea: transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye that lets light in 

Iris: the ring of muscles in the colored part of the eye that controls pupil size 

Pupil: the opening in the center of the iris that changes size to control how much light enters the eye 

Sclera: the white of the eye that is made of fibrous tissue and protects the inner-eye structures 

Lens: located behind the pupil, it focuses light onto the retina 

Retina: A membrane at the back of the eye that transforms light into nerve signals 

Rods and cones: specialized cells the retina uses to process light 

Fovea: small spot made of cone cells in the center of the retina that enables sharper vision 

Optic Nerve: This bundle of nerve fibers carries messages from the eyes to the brain 

Macula: A small part of the retina responsible for central vision, allows people to see shapes, colors, and details clearly. 

Protecting Your Eyes 

Depending on your lifestyle, shatter-resistant and impact-resistant eyewear may be a necessity. If you work in a hazardous environment, like a construction zone, protective eyewear is key. If you participate in ball sports and other extreme sports regularly, you could also benefit from specialized protective eyewear.  

Did you know that: 

Roughly half of traumatic eye injuries are related to ball sports,  45% of these happen in children younger than 14 and 90% of them are preventable. 

Polycarbonate is a lens material widely used for shatter-and-impact resistant lenses. If you opt for specialized eye protection, it will likely have polycarbonate lenses.  These can also be used to protect you from the hazards of bright light, glare, and the sun’s UV rays. 


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We deliver the best eye care. Our staff is all fully trained and certified to assist you with your vision needs, and we have a high-qualified Eye Doctors on staff at all times.

Eyesight is one of the most precious senses we have. It’s an amazing feeling to assist my patients in seeing and enjoying life through a clearer field of view.
Dr. Olga Likhtman
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Dr. Olga Likhtman, OD is a top-ranked optometrist in the greater New York City area providing the most advanced care options for her patients. She is experienced in an array of state-of-the-art techniques, treatments and procedures for ocular conditions such as: chronic dry eye, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, eye infections, corneal abrasions, emergencies, acute and chronic issues such as conjunctivitis and floaters, as well as contact lens fittings.