Home Health The Parts of the Eye and How They Work Explained

The Parts of the Eye and How They Work Explained

by Paul Petersen


The anatomy of the eye is rather complex, but it takes a lot of parts working in unison to maintain good vision through your lifetime. Let’s explore these components and how they function and allow us to see the world.

The Main Parts of Eyes

  • Sclera—The protective white area of the eyes.
  • Pupil—The dot in the center of the eye where light enters.
  • Iris—The colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil and is responsible for how much light enters the eye.
  • Cornea—The clear ‘window’ that covers the pupil and iris.
  • Lens—The lenses behind the pupil focus light onto the retina near the back of the eye.
  • Retina—The retina is the inner lining of the eye that has ten layers of various cells that sense light and transform it into electrical impulses.
  • Cones—Cells inside the retina that help detect color and details
  • Rods—Photoreceptors inside the retina that allow for seeing in the dark.

How the Eye Parts Allow for Sight

How the eye sees is just as complex as the eye itself. Light reflects off of objects and light rays travel through the cornea, passes through a water fluid and ultimately reaches the pupil and lens.

The lens bends the light and focuses it onto the retina. The retina then ‘translates’ light into electrical impulses that ultimately carry to the brain via the optic nerve. The visual cortex interprets the impulses and results in what we ‘see.’

Comprehensive Eye Exams are Essential for Lifelong Vision

Taking care of your eyes for life to prevent the need for LASIK or cataract surgery or other interventions is essential. Be sure to schedule routine eye exams and talk to your doctor about any problems you are experiencing.