How the eye works

The below video provides you with an introduction to Vision Australia's videos for clients, and outlines the anatomy of the eye.

How does the eye see?

  • Light rays are reflected from an object and enter the eye through the clear, outer part of the eye known as the cornea.
  • The light rays pass through the pupil and lens, which is behind the iris or coloured part of the eye.
  • The cornea and the lens focus the light rays on to the retina, which is at the back of the eye.
  • Photoreceptor cells in the retina pick up the light signals, change them into nerve impulses and convey these to the brain, where they can be perceived and understood as a visual image.

What are the parts of the retina?

  • Retina - the nerve tissue layer that is sensitive to light impulses and transmits these to the brain. It contains photoreceptors, called rods and cones.
  • Rods - specialised retinal photoreceptor cells located primarily in the peripheral retina. They are responsible for seeing form, shape and movement and function best in low levels of light.
  • Cones -specialised photoreceptor cells in the retina, primarily concentrated in the macular area. They are responsible for detailed vision and colour perception.
  • Macula - the area of the retina where most of the cones are found. This is the area responsible for detailed vision and colour perception.

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