vision process

Vision doesn’t necessarily take place in your eyes. Instead, our sight act as a light gatherer for our brains. It sends information to the brain, which interprets  and constructs an idea of what the world around us looks like.

The process is a complex one, but the experts at Complete Eye Care are here to explain how it works. If you understand the vision process, you can be aware of irregularities and take the necessary steps to correct it.

Gathering Light

Light enters your eyes and passes through your pupil, which dilate depending on the amount of brightness received. Light is directed to a focused point on your retina; a thin sheet of cells we have in the back of our eyes.

The photoreceptor cells on the retina(rods and cones) absorb the light and convert it into electrochemical signals. There are approximately 150 million of these cells on your retina, and each carries out a specific task. Rods are best for seeing at night, as they don’t interpret color. They are plentiful around your peripheral vision, which is why many people claim to see better out of the corner of their eye in the dark. Cones are made for movement and colorant and their abundance explains why you turn your eye to your object of focus during the day.

Sending Information to the Brain

The electrochemical signals pass through the optic nerve and are carried to your brain. These signals consist of millions of fibers. To put the complexity of your vision into perspective, each auditory nerve only carries around 30,000 fibers to the brain for our hearing.

Setting the Scene

As soon as the information is received by the brain, it is quickly interpreted. The brain will automatically correct distorted information — caused by movement, noses, and eye blood vessels — and instantly gauges distances, interprets objects, and detects motion.

But, your brain doesn’t show you every bit of information it receives. Instead, it narrows the information down to provide a picture of data it deems relevant. For instance, when you are in a crowded place, the brain will ignore certain visual stimuli and give other information precedence. This process is known as visual attention.

If the brain always showed every piece of information it received from our eyes, the world would appear as a chaotic mess of light and movement, instead of a stabilized, focused image.

 Illusions and Irregularities

Occasionally, the brain will receive information that is nearly impossible to interpret. For instance, when a face is brightly lit,  the features become indistinguishable.

A common vision irregularity is nearsightedness or farsightedness. Because of the shape of your eye, light is refracting either in front of or behind the retina, instead of its center. That means collecting the light is more difficult, and your vision is likely blurry. Glasses or contact lenses work to correct the irregularity, and focus the light back to the center of your retina.

For more information, or to schedule your vision evaluation, call (580) 355-2020 to speak to the expert eye care providers at Complete Eye Care!