How the Eye Works

The eye functions like a camera. The front part of the eye is made up of the cornea, iris, and lens. This portion of the eye focuses light much the same way the lenses in a camera focus light. In a camera, the light is focused on the film. In your eye, the light is focused on a thin layer of tissue called the retina, which covers the back inside wall of the eye.  This is the seeing tissue of the eye. Messages about the focused picture are sent to the brain through the optic nerve and this is how we see.

The retina has two main parts: the peripheral retina and the macula. The macula is the central "bull's eye" area of the retina which allows a person to see fine details. When you look straight ahead to read, recognize faces, see street signs, or do other things which require seeing fine details, you are using the macula. The peripheral retina is the remainder portion of the retina which gives us our side vision, called peripheral vision.