Camen Eye Care

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How Do Eyes Work?

Our eyes are the only organ that does not grow after birth. They can, however, change as we age and become damaged due to smoking, injuries, or certain disorders and diseases. Some of these problems have solutions and others do not. Let’s delve into how this complex organ works and why some people end up having vision problems.

How an Eye Functions

Eyes are complex organs that allow us to see and perceive the world around us. They work by detecting light and converting it into electrical signals that are sent to the brain, which processes these signals into the images and visual information that we see.
The eye is made up of several parts, including the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, and optic nerve. When light enters the eye, it passes through the cornea, a clear, curved surface that helps to focus the light onto the retina. The iris, a colored ring of muscle around the pupil, controls the amount of light that enters the eye by adjusting the size of the pupil. The pupil is the small, circular opening in the center of the iris that allows light to pass through to the lens.
The lens is a transparent, flexible structure located behind the pupil that helps to focus light onto the retina which is a thin layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals. These signals are then sent to the brain through the optic nerve.
In summary, the eye works by detecting light, focusing it onto the retina using various components of the eye, and then converting it into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. The brain then processes these signals into the images and visual information that we see.

Why Do Some People Have Trouble Seeing?

There are many different reasons why some people’s eyes may not be seeing the world as well as others’. Some of the most common causes of vision problems include:

Refractive Errors

These occur when the shape of the eye is such that it does not focus light correctly onto the retina. The most common refractive errors are nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.


This is a common age-related condition that occurs when the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, making it harder to focus on objects that are close up.


Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can cause vision to become blurry or distorted.  They can be caused by smoking, aging, or eye injuries.


This is actually a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss. It usually relates to pressure in the eye and is more common in people who have diabetes, people over 60, and African Americans.

Macular degeneration

This is a condition that affects the central part of the retina (the macula), causing vision to become blurry or distorted. This is usually caused by a combination of genetics and different environmental factors such as smoking or obesity.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This condition can occur in people with diabetes when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, leading to vision issues.

Color Blindness

This is usually genetic and is caused by a deficiency or absence of certain types of photoreceptors in the retina called cones, affecting the ability to see colors. There are different types of color blindness depending on which cone type is affected.
There are many other eye diseases and conditions that can cause vision problems, including conjunctivitis (pink eye), dry eye syndrome, and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). This is not an exhaustive list, but it serves to demonstrate how complex this organ really is and the many ways it can be impacted.
A lot of vision problems can be corrected or managed with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. It is important to see an eye doctor regularly to have your eyes checked and to get treatment if needed. Routine eye exams allow you to modify your prescription as your eyes continue to change and can even be used to detect early signs of other diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s, or rheumatoid arthritis. If it’s been over a year since the last time you saw an optometrist, schedule an appointment for your next eye exam today.