Maintaining Your Vision
Taking good care of your eyes is vital to your overall health and wellbeing. Even if you enjoy good vision now, you need to start or continue to practice good eye healthcare by visiting your eye care professional to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
Who Performs Eye Exams?
An eye care professional is either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. An optometrist is the primary health care professional for the eye. Both professionals are qualified to perform eye exams.
Aging and Vision Changes
As you age, it is normal to experience some changes in your vision, such as difficulty adjusting to glare, and distinguishing some colors, particularly shades of blue and green. Some common vision problems require glasses or contacts to see clearly and up close. However, these changes can be easily corrected and won’t lead to vision loss or blindness. Remember, vision loss is not a normal part of aging. In fact, you can live an active lifestyle well into your later years without ever experiencing vision loss.
How Our Eyes Work
To keep our eyes healthy, it helps to know the different parts of the eye. There are many different parts of the eye that help create vision.
- Cornea. Light passes through the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. The cornea bends or refracts the light coming into the eye.
- Iris. The iris is the colored part of the eye. It controls the amount of light that enters the eye through an opening called the pupil.
- Pupil. The pupil is the opening in the iris. The iris adjusts the size of the pupil and controls the amount of light that can enter the eye.
- Lens. The lens is a clear part of the eye that focuses light coming into the eye. The lens is behind the pupil and fine tunes the image that reflects onto the retina.
- Retina. The retina is a thin, delicate, light-sensitive tissue that lines the inside of the eye. It converts light into electrical signals and sends them to the optic nerve.
- Optic nerve. The optic nerve is a bundle of about one million nerve fibers that carries electrical signals from the eyes to the brain. The brain interprets these signals, allowing us to see.
- Macula. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina. It provides the sharp, central vision we use for activities such as reading and watching television.