Detailed Overview Of The Eye Health: Anatomy, Functions & Common Conditions

Your eyes are one of the most complex organs in your body. It has many parts that must work in synchrony to help you have a clear vision. This article gives an overview of the eye anatomy as well as some common eye conditions.

Parts of the eye

Below are the major parts of the eye. If any of these parts have a defect or malfunction, then it may cause many eye conditions.

Cornea

The cornea is the very first tissue in front of the eye. It helps the eye to focus light.

Tear ducts

The tear ducts open in the lower and upper eyelids. These openings are located at the inner corner of the eyes. The lacrimal glands secrete the tears from the upper eyelid to the eye surface. Tears are very important to the eye. They lubricate the cornea and clear the debris from it. The tears are drained away by the tear ducts.

Iris and pupil

The iris is the colored part of the eye. The iris controls the pupil. The pupil is that small opening that lies in the middle of your eyes. This set of muscles regulates the amount of light that gets into your eyes through the pupil.

Retina and lens

The lens lies right behind the pupil. Its function is to focus light on the retina. A retina is a group of cells in the eye that are sensitive to light. They lie on the back of your eyeball. The retina converts the images that you see into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to your brain via the optic nerve.

Optic nerve

The optic nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers that are fixed to the back of your eyes. It serves as a conduit for transmitting visual signals from your retina to the visual center in your brain.

Common eye defects

Refractive errors

When light doesn’t focus well on the retina, you will have blurry vision. Refractive errors can be corrected with contacts, surgery, or glasses. Common refractive errors include:

  • Myopia: It is also known as shortsightedness. Objects that are faraway look blurry.
  • Hyperopia: Its other name is farsightedness. In hyperopia, close-up objects have a blurry appearance.
  • Presbyopia: This is a form of farsightedness caused by the loss of elasticity of the eye lens. The major cause of this loss of elasticity is aging.
  • Astigmatism: In astigmatism, the cornea has an imperfect shape, so it fails to direct light perfectly into the eyes. The result, of course, is blurry vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition characterized by high fluid pressure within the eyes. This causes damage to the optic nerve. If glaucoma is not properly managed, it can cause blindness. Important risk factors for glaucoma include family history, race, and age.

Cataract

A cataract is a condition characterized by clouding of the lens. This causes color-tinted or blurry vision. Cataract patients usually experience “haloes” surrounding objects in their field of vision. This happens mostly at night. A cataract is common among the elderly.

Cataracts can be removed by surgery. The surgery aims to replace the damaged lens with an artificial one.

Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition characterized by gradual damage to the macula cells. It is very common among the elderly.

Blurry vision is a common symptom of age-related macular degeneration. The blurry vision occurs mostly in the center of the field view. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that AMD is the major cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans over the age of 65.

Diabetic retinopathy

In diabetic retinopathy, the retinal blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes. It causes dark spots or blurred spots in a person’s field of vision and can result in blindness.

This can be avoided by keeping your blood sugar levels in check. It is also important that you see your optician every year for a dilated eye examination. Taking good care of your eyes can reduce the complications.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is also known as “lazy eye.” This condition occurs when vision has not developed well in the eyes. Thus, your brain starts to favor the eye that has the better vision.

This condition may occur if one of your eyes is prevented from forming clear images during the growing age. One eye may be inhibited by problems like a tumor, lid droop, or misaligned eyes. These are problems that were not corrected during the child’s growing age.

If your child’s eyes are not properly aligned, or if he/she has vision problems, then get an eye doctor to treat the condition properly.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is a condition where there are no tears in the eyes. It is caused by problems with the tear ducts, formation of tears, as a side effect of some medications, or due to problems with your eyelids. Dry eye syndrome can cause blurry vision or pain.

Retinal tear or detachment

Separation of the retina from the back of the eye is called the “detached retina.” The detached retina may cause blurry vision, partial loss of vision, or total loss of vision. This condition should be treated as an emergency.

Takeaway

The eyes are very complex but vital organs. So, it is important that you all the parts of your eyes, and their function. Knowing the function of each part of the eye can help you identify problems with your vision so you can get treated early and also maintain your eye health.