Print
Request Appointment

How the Eye Works

Sharp vision depends on many factors. The parts of the eye work together to refract (bend and focus) light rays. For normal vision, light must focus onto the retina. Side view cross section of eye turned slightly to front, showing cornea, pupil, iris, lens, retina, and optic nerve.

Cornea

Light enters the eye through this clear, dome-shaped tissue. The cornea also bends light rays to help focus them. Problems with the cornea's shape can affect vision.

Pupil

This circular "window" in the center of the iris opens and closes to let the right amount of light into the eye.

Iris

This is the colored part of the eye. It contains muscles that dilate (open) or constrict (close) the pupil.

Lens

This disc of clear tissue behind the pupil changes shape (accommodates) to help focus light.

Retina

This thin layer of light-sensitive tissue lines the inside of the eye. The retina sends signals to the optic nerve.

Optic nerve

This nerve carries signals from the retina to the brain. The brain then interprets these signals to make images—what you see.

 

Was this helpful?

Yes No
 

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT ▶

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

 
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
 
 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.