How the Eye Works

The human eye is incredible.  It is, without a doubt, the most delicate and sensitive organ in the human body.  It works in ways that are fabulous and sometimes even slightly mysterious.  For example:

  • Images entering the front of the eye are turned upside down on the back wall of the eye.  We don’t notice this because the brain helps translate everything for us.
  • Babies are color blind when they are born, later developing color sensitivity.
  • The human eye can distinguish more than 500 different shades of gray!

Within your eye, there is the iris, cornea, retina and optic nerve.  Externally, you have eyelids, eyelashes and eyebrows designed to protect the eye.

Eye Diagram 4

Not all eyes are the same, nor are they all perfect.  Some eyeballs are too long or have too much focusing power, causing a person to be myopic (nearsighted). Others are too short or have too little focusing power, and the result is hyperopia (farsightedness).

For vision to take place, a succession of steps must occur involving structures within the eye and the brain.  Any single problem with any of these structures, or problems in combination, results in poor vision and sometimes physical pain.

At Claris, we will help you understand the source of vision problems and pains, using language that you can understand.  And we will give you a variety of options for treating your situation. If any terms or words don’t make sense throughout our eye care website, refer to our Eye Care Glossary and we may have the definition there for you.

If you have questions about your eyes, our Minneapolis St. Paul Eye Care Specialists help by contacting us at 612.775.8009 or by email at You may also submit immediate questions via the blue Contact Us box located to the right.

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