The Eye: More Than A Fascinating Part Of Our Anatomy
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Your Eye
The eye is a fascinating piece of machinery. While you may not think of your eye as "equipment" it truly is, serving our body in many unique and unusual ways. The eye is actually a very complex structure composed of many intricate parts:
Let's talk a bit more about each of these.
- The Pupil
- The Iris
- The Cornea
- The Sclera
The pupil is the darkest part of our eye, or the part of our eye that appears colored black or brown. This part of the eye allows light to enter the eye. The reason the pupil is dark in fact is because it absorbs light and absorbs pigments located in the retina of the eye.
Iris is a beautiful name for the colored pigmented part of the eye. Typically the color of our iris' are genetically determined. Some babies will be born with blue eyes that turn brown during the first two months of life. The center of the iris is home to the pupil. Some people's iris is so dark it is difficult to differentiate the pupil from the iris. The iris is actually a circular muscle that controls how large or small the pupil appears. The iris changes size to allow more or less light to enter the eye. Eye color may be variable depending on how much eumelanin or brown and black melanins compared with pheomelanin or red vs. yellow melanins the iris contains. See also our color contacts article. Some people have mutations of the melanin located in the eye which may result in a blue-green eyed person.
The cornea is the external surface of the eye that covers the pupil and the iris. The cornea acts as a super lens, enabling production of sharp images (or fuzzy images if your cornea is misshapen). Most vision problems are associated with a misshapen cornea.
The sclera is a part of the eye that supports the wall of the eyeball. The sclera often meshes with the cornea making it difficult to discern between the two. The sclera also acts as the external covering of the eye and connects with the central nervous system.
The eye also consists of three varying layers:
The eye also contains three separate chambers of fluid that help promote proper vision.
- External Layer - This part of the eye encompasses the sclera and cornea
- Intermediate Layer - This part of the eye includes the iris and the posterior "choroids" part of the eye
- Internal Layer - This portion of the eye includes the retina or part of the eye responsible for sensory perception
How The Eye Works
Generally light rays enter our eyes through the cornea and lens and hit the retina. Along the retina is a central point that enables image focus referred to as the visual axis. Here our bodies work to focus the image and adjust the resolution of the image to provide detail to the brain allowing perception. Did you know our eyes are held in place by an "orbital cavity"? This cavity consists of multiple ligaments, muscles and fascial components that allow the eye movement and retain the eyes position with time.
As you can see, there really is a lot more to the eye than you might expect. In fact, most scientists and anatomists consider the eye one of the more complex organs of our body. Interestingly it is also one of the smallest parts of they body. Consider your eye the camera of your body, allowing us the unique ability to discern finite details even during the dark hours of the evening.
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