does the eye work?
works like a camera. The white part on the outside of the eyeball is
called the sclera. In its center is the cornea, the transparent part of
the eye that covers the iris or colored part of the eye. The iris
operates like a camera shutter by controlling the amount of light that
enters the eye.
behind the iris is the eye lens. It is suspended by fibers that tighten
or loosen to focus the light rays from objects outside the eye onto the
retina, located at the back of the eye.
The vitreous chamber, made
clear, gelatinous fluid, is the space between the lens and the retina.
The retina is like film in a camera. Within its layers are the cells
that perceive light and color. The images received by the retina are
conveyed to the brain by the optic nerve, allowing us to see objects.
is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist? What
is an optician?
ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in comprehensive eye
care. Ophthalmologists can examine, diagnose and treat eye disorders.
They are skilled in all facets of eye care, from prescribing eye
glasses to performing intricate eye surgery. Ophthalmologists receive
four years of medical school after college, a year’s internship, and a
have a doctorate in optometry, not a medical degree. They’re skilled
professionals who test vision and prescribe eyeglasses, contacts and
other optical wear, such as low vision devices. Most
optometrists have received additional training and specialize in
treating patients with low vision or who require spectacles or contact
lenses for correction.
have received additional training following college. They fill
prescriptions and help fit patients into glasses and contacts.
How often should I have an eye
schedule regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist
because many eye disorders exhibit no warning symptoms, but are
treatable when discovered in the early stages. Here is a general guide:
20 years of age— as recommended by your pediatrician or eye
20-39— at least once during this period
40-64— every two to four years
older— every one to two years
Americans and Native Americans— Since you’re at a greater risk
of developing glaucoma, visit your eye doctor every three to five years
before age 40 and every two years thereafter.
patients— Have your eye examined every year to prevent vision
loss from diabetes-related eye disorders.
diagnosed with a blinding disease, seek treatment from an
ophthalmologist who specializes in treating your condition.
What does an eye doctor do during an exam?
family history of eye health.
your visual acuity.
response of your pupils to light.
eyes and examine the posterior structures of the eye (the back of the
eye, including the retina and optic nerve).
indicated, perform a variety of specialized tests.
Will poor lighting hurt my eyes?
lighting won’t hurt your eyes when you read or watch television.
However, a good source of light will lessen the strain on your eyes.
Will my computer harm my eyes?
scientific evidence that computer screens emit hazardous radiation. But
you can suffer eye strain or fatigue from extended computer use, poor
lighting or a variety of other related causes.
What do I do if I injure my eye?
receive an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an
ophthalmologist or primary care physician to reduce the risk of
permanent damage. Following are some general guidelines for treating
eye injuries properly.
the eye gently.
not to rub or apply too much pressure on the eye.
out the eye or remove particles in the eye.
medical attention immediately if the cut shows signs of infection.
For foreign particles:
lid down onto lower lid and let lower lashes sweep the particle away.
repeatedly until the particle goes away; try not to rub.
medical attention if the above steps don’t work or if the material
scratches your cornea.
For chemical splashes:
fingers to separate lids, then wash the eye with water from a faucet or
washing for several minutes while rolling your eyeball.
cover your eye with a bandage.
immediate medical attention.
Blows to the eye:
apply an ice compress to reduce swelling and ease the pain.
immediate medical attention.
Common sense tips for preventing
spraying chemicals, make sure the nozzle is pointed away from your face.
shield over the pan when frying foods.
safety goggles when using power tools, welding equipment or tools that
spark or flame, poisonous chemicals, gardening equipment, etc.
children when playing with dangerous toys or games, such as pellet
guns, fireworks, etc.
protective eyewear when playing sports such as racquetball, baseball,
basketball or tennis.
gloves (powderless) when cutting up hot peppers so that the oils do not
transfer to eyes or contact lenses.
appreciation for guidance from the
Dictionary of Eye Terminology, Second Edition. (1990) Barbara Cassin
and Sheila A.B.Solomon. Melvin L. Rubin, M.D., Editor (Triad Publishing
Company, Gainesville, Florida)
and Emory University.