Human eye
Overview
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ
Sensory system
A sensory system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory receptors, neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory perception. Commonly recognized sensory systems are those for vision, hearing, somatic...

, the eye
Eye
Eyes are organs that detect light and convert it into electro-chemical impulses in neurons. The simplest photoreceptors in conscious vision connect light to movement...

 allows vision
Visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision...

. Rod
Rod cell
Rod cells, or rods, are photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye that can function in less intense light than can the other type of visual photoreceptor, cone cells. Named for their cylindrical shape, rods are concentrated at the outer edges of the retina and are used in peripheral vision. On...

 and cone
Cone cell
Cone cells, or cones, are photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye that are responsible for color vision; they function best in relatively bright light, as opposed to rod cells that work better in dim light. If the retina is exposed to an intense visual stimulus, a negative afterimage will be...

 cells in the retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

 allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million colors.

In common with the eyes of other mammals
Mammalian eye
-Dimensions:Dimensions vary only 1–2 mm among humans. The vertical diameter is 24 mm; the transverse being larger. At birth it is generally 16–17 mm, enlarging to 22.5–23 mm by three years of age. Between then and age 13 the eye attains its mature size...

, the human eye's non-image-forming photosensitive ganglion cell
Photosensitive ganglion cell
Photosensitive ganglion cells, also called photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells , intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells or melanopsin-containing ganglion cells, are a type of neuron in the retina of the mammalian eye.They were discovered in the early 1990sand are, unlike other...

s in the retina receive the light signals which affect adjustment of the size of the pupil, regulation and suppression of the hormone melatonin
Melatonin
Melatonin , also known chemically as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants, and microbes...

 and entrainment
Entrainment (chronobiology)
Entrainment, within the study of chronobiology, occurs when rhythmic physiological or behavioral events match their period and phase to that of an environmental oscillation. A common example is the entrainment of circadian rhythms to the daily light–dark cycle, which ultimately is determined by...

 of the body clock
Circadian rhythm
A circadian rhythm, popularly referred to as body clock, is an endogenously driven , roughly 24-hour cycle in biochemical, physiological, or behavioural processes. Circadian rhythms have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria...

.
The eye is not properly a sphere, rather it is a fused two-piece unit.
Encyclopedia
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ
Sensory system
A sensory system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory receptors, neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory perception. Commonly recognized sensory systems are those for vision, hearing, somatic...

, the eye
Eye
Eyes are organs that detect light and convert it into electro-chemical impulses in neurons. The simplest photoreceptors in conscious vision connect light to movement...

 allows vision
Visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision...

. Rod
Rod cell
Rod cells, or rods, are photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye that can function in less intense light than can the other type of visual photoreceptor, cone cells. Named for their cylindrical shape, rods are concentrated at the outer edges of the retina and are used in peripheral vision. On...

 and cone
Cone cell
Cone cells, or cones, are photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye that are responsible for color vision; they function best in relatively bright light, as opposed to rod cells that work better in dim light. If the retina is exposed to an intense visual stimulus, a negative afterimage will be...

 cells in the retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

 allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million colors.

In common with the eyes of other mammals
Mammalian eye
-Dimensions:Dimensions vary only 1–2 mm among humans. The vertical diameter is 24 mm; the transverse being larger. At birth it is generally 16–17 mm, enlarging to 22.5–23 mm by three years of age. Between then and age 13 the eye attains its mature size...

, the human eye's non-image-forming photosensitive ganglion cell
Photosensitive ganglion cell
Photosensitive ganglion cells, also called photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells , intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells or melanopsin-containing ganglion cells, are a type of neuron in the retina of the mammalian eye.They were discovered in the early 1990sand are, unlike other...

s in the retina receive the light signals which affect adjustment of the size of the pupil, regulation and suppression of the hormone melatonin
Melatonin
Melatonin , also known chemically as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants, and microbes...

 and entrainment
Entrainment (chronobiology)
Entrainment, within the study of chronobiology, occurs when rhythmic physiological or behavioral events match their period and phase to that of an environmental oscillation. A common example is the entrainment of circadian rhythms to the daily light–dark cycle, which ultimately is determined by...

 of the body clock
Circadian rhythm
A circadian rhythm, popularly referred to as body clock, is an endogenously driven , roughly 24-hour cycle in biochemical, physiological, or behavioural processes. Circadian rhythms have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria...

.

General properties

The eye is not properly a sphere, rather it is a fused two-piece unit. The smaller frontal unit, more curved, called the cornea is linked to the larger unit called the sclera. The corneal segment is typically about 8 mm (0.3 in) in radius. The sclera constitutes the remaining five-sixths; its radius is typically about 12 mm. The cornea and sclera are connected by a ring called the limbus. The iris – the color of the eye – and its black center, the pupil, are seen instead of the cornea due to the cornea's transparency. To see inside the eye, an ophthalmoscope is needed, since light is not reflected out. The fundus (area opposite the pupil) shows the characteristic pale optic disk (papilla), where vessels entering the eye pass across and optic nerve fibers depart the globe.

Dimensions

The dimensions differ among adults by only one or two millimeters. The vertical measure, generally less than the horizontal distance, is about 24 mm among adults, at birth about 16–17 mm. (about 0.65 inch) The eyeball grows rapidly, increasing to 22.5–23 mm (approx. 0.89 in) by the age of three years. From then to age 13, the eye attains its full size. The volume is 6.5 ml (0.4 cu. in.) and the weight is 7.5 g. (0.25 oz.)

Components

The eye is made up of three coats, enclosing three transparent structures. The outermost layer is composed of the cornea
Cornea
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's total optical power. In humans, the refractive power of the cornea is...

 and sclera
Sclera
The sclera , also known as the white or white of the eye, is the opaque , fibrous, protective, outer layer of the eye containing collagen and elastic fiber. In the development of the embryo, the sclera is derived from the neural crest...

. The middle layer consists of the choroid
Choroid
The choroid, also known as the choroidea or choroid coat, is the vascular layer of the eye, containing connective tissue, and lying between the retina and the sclera. The human choroid is thickest at the far extreme rear of the eye , while in the outlying areas it narrows to 0.1 mm...

, ciliary body
Ciliary body
The ciliary body is the circumferential tissue inside the eye composed of the ciliary muscle and ciliary processes. It is triangular in horizontal section and is coated by a double layer, the ciliary epithelium. This epithelium produces the aqueous humor. The inner layer is transparent and covers...

, and iris
Iris (anatomy)
The iris is a thin, circular structure in the eye, responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupils and thus the amount of light reaching the retina. "Eye color" is the color of the iris, which can be green, blue, or brown. In some cases it can be hazel , grey, violet, or even pink...

. The innermost is the retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

, which gets its circulation from the vessels of the choroid as well as the retinal vessels, which can be seen in an ophthalmoscope.

Within these coats are the aqueous humor, the vitreous body, and the flexible lens. The aqueous humor is a clear fluid that is contained in two areas: the anterior chamber
Anterior chamber
The anterior chamber is the fluid-filled space inside the eye between the iris and the cornea's innermost surface, the endothelium. Aqueous humor is the fluid that fills the anterior chamber. Hyphema and glaucoma are two main pathologies in this area. In hyphema, blood fills the anterior chamber...

 between the cornea and the iris and exposed area of the lens; and the posterior chamber
Posterior chamber
The posterior chamber should not be confused with vitreous chamber. The posterior chamber is a narrow chink behind the peripheral part of the iris of the lens, and in front of the suspensory ligament of the lens and the ciliary processes. The Posterior Chamber consists of small space directly...

, behind the iris and the rest. The lens is suspended to the ciliary body by the suspensory ligament (Zonule of Zinn), made up of fine transparent fibers. The vitreous body is a clear jelly that is much larger than the aqueous humor, and is bordered by the sclera, zonule, and lens. They are connected via the pupil.

Dynamic range

The retina has a static contrast ratio
Contrast ratio
The contrast ratio is a property of a display system, defined as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color to that of the darkest color that the system is capable of producing...

 of around 100:1 (about 6.5 f-stops). As soon as the eye moves (saccades) it re-adjusts its exposure both chemically and geometrically by adjusting the iris which regulates the size of the pupil. Initial dark adaptation takes place in approximately four seconds of profound, uninterrupted darkness; full adaptation through adjustments in retinal chemistry (the Purkinje effect
Purkinje effect
The Purkinje effect is the tendency for the peak luminance sensitivity of the human eye to shift toward the blue end of the color spectrum at low illumination levels.This effect introduces a difference in color contrast under different levels of...

) are mostly complete in thirty minutes. Hence, a dynamic contrast ratio
Contrast ratio
The contrast ratio is a property of a display system, defined as the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color to that of the darkest color that the system is capable of producing...

 of about 1,000,000:1 (about 20 f-stops) is possible. The process is nonlinear and multifaceted, so an interruption by light merely starts the adaptation process over again. Full adaptation is dependent on good blood flow; thus dark adaptation may be hampered by poor circulation, and vasoconstrictors like alcohol or tobacco.

The eye includes a lens
Lens (anatomy)
The crystalline lens is a transparent, biconvex structure in the eye that, along with the cornea, helps to refract light to be focused on the retina. The lens, by changing shape, functions to change the focal distance of the eye so that it can focus on objects at various distances, thus allowing a...

 not dissimilar to lenses
Lens (optics)
A lens is an optical device with perfect or approximate axial symmetry which transmits and refracts light, converging or diverging the beam. A simple lens consists of a single optical element...

 found in optical instruments such as cameras and the same principles can be applied. The pupil
Pupil
The pupil is a hole located in the center of the iris of the eye that allows light to enter the retina. It appears black because most of the light entering the pupil is absorbed by the tissues inside the eye. In humans the pupil is round, but other species, such as some cats, have slit pupils. In...

 of the human eye
Eye
Eyes are organs that detect light and convert it into electro-chemical impulses in neurons. The simplest photoreceptors in conscious vision connect light to movement...

 is its aperture
Aperture
In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture of an optical system is the opening that determines the cone angle of a bundle of rays that come to a focus in the image plane. The aperture determines how collimated the admitted rays are,...

; the iris is the diaphragm that serves as the aperture stop. Refraction in the cornea
Cornea
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's total optical power. In humans, the refractive power of the cornea is...

 causes the effective aperture (the entrance pupil
Entrance pupil
In an optical system, the entrance pupil is the optical image of the physical aperture stop, as 'seen' through the front of the lens system. The corresponding image of the aperture as seen through the back of the lens system is called the exit pupil...

) to differ slightly from the physical pupil diameter. The entrance pupil is typically about 4 mm in diameter, although it can range from 2 mm in a brightly lit place to 8 mm in the dark. The latter value decreases slowly with age, older people's eyes sometimes dilate to not more than 5-6mm.

Field of view

The approximate field of view of a human eye is 95° out, 75° down, 60° in, 60° up. About 12–15° temporal and 1.5° below the horizontal is the optic nerve or blind spot
Blind spot (vision)
A blind spot, also known as a scotoma, is an obscuration of the visual field. A particular blind spot known as the blindspot, or physiological blind spot, or punctum caecum in medical literature, is the place in the visual field that corresponds to the lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells on...

 which is roughly 7.5° high and 5.5° wide.

Eye irritation

Eye irritation has been defined as “the magnitude of any stinging, scratching, burning, or other irritating sensation from the eye”. It is a common problem experienced by people of all ages. Related eye symptoms and signs of irritation are e.g. discomfort, dryness, excess tearing, itching, grating, sandy sensation, smarting, ocular fatigue, pain, scratchiness, soreness, redness, swollen eyelids, and tiredness, etc. These eye symptoms are reported with intensities from severe to less severe. It has been suggested that these eye symptoms are related to different causal mechanisms.

Several suspected causal factors in our environment have been studied so far. One hypothesis is that indoor air pollution may cause eye and airway irritation. Eye irritation depends somewhat on destabilization of the outer-eye tear film, in which the formation of dry spots results in such ocular discomfort as dryness. Occupational factors are also likely to influence the perception of eye irritation. Some of these are lighting (glare and poor contrast), gaze position, a limited number of breaks, and a constant function of accommodation, musculoskeletal burden, and impairment of the visual nervous system. Another factor that may be related is work stress. In addition, psychological factors have been found in multivariate analyses to be associated with an increase in eye irritation among VDU users. Other risk factors, such as chemical toxins/irritants, e.g. Amines, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, N-decane, VOCs; Ozone, Pesticides and preservatives, Allergens, etc might cause eye irritation as well.

Certain volatile organic compounds that are both chemically reactive and airway irritants may cause eye irritation as well. Personal factors (e.g., use of contact lenses, eye make-up, and certain medications) may also affect destabilization of the tear film and possibly result in more eye symptoms. Nevertheless, if airborne particles alone should destabilize the tear film and cause eye irritation, their content of surface-active compounds must be high. An integrated physiological risk model with blink frequency, destabilization, and break-up of the eye tear film as inseparable phenomena may explain eye irritation among office workers in terms of occupational, climate, and eye-related physiological risk factors.

There are two major measures of eye irritation. One is blink frequency which can be observed by human behavior. The other measures are break up time, tear flow, hyperemia (redness, swelling), tear fluid cytology, and epithelial damage (vital stains) etc, which are human beings’ physiological reactions. Blink frequency is defined as the number of blinks per minute and it is associated with eye irritation. Blink frequencies are individual with mean frequencies of < 2-3 to 20-30 blinks/minute, and they depend on environmental factors including the use of contact lens
Contact lens
A contact lens, or simply contact, is a lens placed on the eye. They are considered medical devices and can be worn to correct vision, for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In 2004, it was estimated that 125 million people use contact lenses worldwide, including 28 to 38 million in the United...

es. Dehydration, mental activities, work conditions, room temperature, relative humidity, and illumination all influence blink frequency. Break-up time (BUT) is another major measure of eye irritation and tear film stability. It is defined as the time interval (in seconds) between blinking and rupture. BUT is considered to reflect the stability of the tear film as well. In normal persons, the break-up time exceeds the interval between blinks, and, therefore, the tear film is maintained. Studies have shown that blink frequency is correlated negatively with break-up time. This phenomenon indicates that perceived eye irritation is associated with an increase in blink frequency since the cornea and conjunctiva both have sensitive nerve endings that belong to the first trigeminal branch. Other evaluating methods, such as hyperemia, cytology etc have increasingly been used to assess eye irritation.

There are other factors that related to eye irritation as well. Three major factors that influence the most are indoor air pollution, contact lenses and gender differences. Field studies have found that the prevalence of objective eye signs is often significantly altered among office workers in comparisons with random samples of the general population. These research results might indicate that indoor air pollution has played an important role in causing eye irritation. There are more and more people wearing contact lens now and dry eyes appear to be the most common complaint among contact lens wearers. Although both contact lens wearers and spectacle wearers experience similar eye irritation symptoms, dryness, redness, and grittiness have been reported far more frequently among contact lens wearers and with greater severity than among spectacle wearers. Studies have shown that incidence of dry eyes increases with age. especially among women. Tear film stability (eg. break-up time) is significantly lower among women than among men. In addition, women have a higher blink frequency while reading. Several factors may contribute to gender differences. One is the use of eye make-up. Another reason could be that the women in the reported studies have done more VDU work than the men, including lower grade work. A third often-quoted explanation is related to the age-dependent decrease of tear secretion, particularly among women after 40 years of age.,

In a study conducted by UCLA, the frequency of reported symptoms in industrial buildings was investigated. The study's results were that eye irritation was the most frequent symptom in industrial building spaces, at 81%. Modern office work with use of office equipment has raised concerns about possible adverse health effects. Since the 1970s, reports have linked mucosal, skin, and general symptoms to work with self-copying paper. Emission of various particulate and volatile substances has been suggested as specific causes. These symptoms have been related to Sick Building Syndrome
Sick building syndrome
Sick building syndrome is a combination of ailments associated with an individual's place of work or residence. A 1984 World Health Organization report into the syndrome suggested up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be linked to symptoms of SBS...

 (SBS), which involves symptoms such as irritation to the eyes, skin, and upper airways, headache and fatigue.

Many of the symptoms described in SBS and multiple chemical sensitivity
Multiple chemical sensitivity
Multiple chemical sensitivity is a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms the affected person attributes to exposure to low levels of chemicals. Commonly suspected substances include smoke, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, scented products, petroleum products and paints...

 (MCS) resemble the symptoms known to be elicited by airborne irritant chemicals. A repeated measurement design was employed in the study of acute symptoms of eye and respiratory tract irritation resulting from occupational exposure to sodium borate dusts. The symptom assessment of the 79 exposed and 27 unexposed subjects comprised interviews before the shift began and then at regular hourly intervals for the next six hours of the shift, four days in a row. Exposures were monitored concurrently with a personal real time aerosol monitor. Two different exposure profiles, a daily average and short term (15 minute) average, were used in the analysis. Exposure-response relations were evaluated by linking incidence rates for each symptom with categories of exposure.

Acute incidence rates for nasal, eye, and throat irritation
Throat irritation
Throat irritation is a common complaint in individuals of all ages. Throat irritation means different things to different people. Some people may mean a dry cough; others describe it as a scratchy feeling at the back of the throat and others simply mean a sensation of something stuck at the back of...

, and coughing and breathlessness were found to be associated with increased exposure levels of both exposure indices. Steeper exposure-response slopes were seen when short term exposure concentrations were used. Results from multivariate logistic regression analysis suggest that current smokers tended to be less sensitive to the exposure to airborne sodium borate dust.

Several actions can be taken to prevent eye irritation—
  • trying to maintain normal blinking by avoiding room temperatures that are too high; avoiding relative humidities that are too high or too low, because they reduce blink frequency or may increase water evaporation
  • trying to maintain an intact tear film by the following actions. 1) blinking and short breaks may be beneficial for VDU users. Increase these two actions might help maintain the tear film. 2) downward gazing is recommended to reduce the ocular surface area and water evaporation. 3) the distance between the VDU and keyboard should be kept as short as possible to minimize evaporation from the ocular surface area by a low direction of the gaze. And 4) blink training can be beneficial.


In addition, other measures are proper lid hygiene, avoidance of eye rubbing, and proper use of personal products and medication. Eye make-up should be used with care.

Eye movement

The visual system in the brain is too slow to process information if the images are slipping across the retina at more than a few degrees per second. Thus, for humans to be able to see while moving, the brain must compensate for the motion of the head by turning the eyes. Another complication for vision in frontal-eyed animals is the development of a small area of the retina with a very high visual acuity. This area is called the fovea, and covers about 2 degrees of visual angle in people. To get a clear view of the world, the brain must turn the eyes so that the image of the object of regard falls on the fovea. Eye movements are thus very important for visual perception, and any failure to make them correctly can lead to serious visual disabilities.

Having two eyes is an added complication, because the brain must point both of them accurately enough that the object of regard falls on corresponding points of the two retinas; otherwise, double vision would occur. The movements of different body parts are controlled by striated muscles acting around joints. The movements of the eye are no exception, but they have special advantages not shared by skeletal muscles and joints, and so are considerably different.

Extraocular muscles

Each eye has six muscle
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

s that control its movements: the lateral rectus
Lateral rectus muscle
The lateral rectus muscle is a muscle in the orbit. It is one of six extraocular muscles that control the movements of the eye and the only muscle innervated by the abducens nerve, cranial nerve VI....

, the medial rectus
Medial rectus muscle
The medial rectus muscle is a muscle in the orbit.As with most of the muscles of the orbit, it is innervated by the inferior division of the oculomotor nerve ....

, the inferior rectus
Inferior rectus muscle
The inferior rectus muscle is a muscle in the orbit.-Actions:It depresses, adducts, and helps extort the eye.The inferior rectus muscle is the only muscle that is capable of depressing the pupil when it is in a fully abducted position....

, the superior rectus
Superior rectus muscle
The superior rectus muscle is a muscle in the orbit. It is one of the extraocular muscles. It is innervated by the superior division of the oculomotor nerve...

, the inferior oblique
Inferior oblique muscle
The Obliquus oculi inferior is a thin, narrow muscle placed near the anterior margin of the floor of the orbit.-Action:Its actions are lateral rotation, elevation and abduction of the eye....

, and the superior oblique
Superior oblique muscle
For the abdominal muscle see: Abdominal external oblique muscleThe superior oblique muscle, or obliquus oculi superior, is a fusiform muscle originating in the upper, medial side of the orbit which abducts, depresses and internally rotates the eye...

. When the muscles exert different tensions, a torque is exerted on the globe that causes it to turn, in almost pure rotation, with only about one millimeter of translation. Thus, the eye can be considered as undergoing rotations about a single point in the center of the eye.

Rapid eye movement

Rapid eye movement, or REM for short, typically refers to the sleep
Sleep
Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than...

 stage during which the most vivid dreams occur. During this stage, the eyes move rapidly. It is not in itself a unique form of eye movement.

Saccades

Saccades are quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction controlled by the frontal lobe of the brain. Some irregular drifts, movements, smaller than a saccade and larger than a microsaccade, subtend up to six minutes of arc.

Microsaccades

Even when looking intently at a single spot, the eyes drift around. This ensures that individual photosensitive cells are continually stimulated in different degrees. Without changing input, these cells would otherwise stop generating output. Microsaccades move the eye no more than a total of 0.2° in adult humans.

Vestibulo-ocular reflex

The vestibulo-ocular reflex
Vestibulo-ocular reflex
The vestibulo-ocular reflex is a reflex eye movement that stabilizes images on the retina during head movement by producing an eye movement in the direction opposite to head movement, thus preserving the image on the center of the visual field. For example, when the head moves to the right, the...

 is a reflex
Reflex
A reflex action, also known as a reflex, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus. A true reflex is a behavior which is mediated via the reflex arc; this does not apply to casual uses of the term 'reflex'.-See also:...

 eye movement that stabilizes images on the retina
Retina
The vertebrate retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina, which serves much the same function as the film in a camera. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical...

 during head movement by producing an eye movement in the direction opposite to head movement, thus preserving the image on the center of the visual field. For example, when the head moves to the right, the eyes move to the left, and vice versa.

Smooth pursuit movement

The eyes can also follow a moving object around. This tracking is less accurate than the vestibulo-ocular reflex, as it requires the brain to process incoming visual information and supply feedback
Feedback
Feedback describes the situation when output from an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or...

. Following an object moving at constant speed is relatively easy, though the eyes will often make saccadic jerks to keep up. The smooth pursuit movement can move the eye at up to 100°/s in adult humans.

It is more difficult to visually estimate speed in low light conditions or while moving, unless there is another point of reference for determining speed.

Optokinetic reflex

The optokinetic reflex is a combination of a saccade and smooth pursuit movement. When, for example, looking out of the window at a moving train, the eyes can focus on a 'moving' train for a short moment (through smooth pursuit), until the train moves out of the field of vision. At this point, the optokinetic reflex kicks in, and moves the eye back to the point where it first saw the train (through a saccade).

Near response

The adjustment to close-range vision involves three processes to focus an image on the retina.

Vergence movement

When a creature with binocular vision looks at an object, the eyes must rotate around a vertical axis so that the projection of the image is in the centre of the retina in both eyes. To look at an object closer by, the eyes rotate 'towards each other' (convergence
Convergence (eye)
In ophthalmology, convergence is the simultaneous inward movement of both eyes toward each other, usually in an effort to maintain single binocular vision when viewing an object. This action is mediated by the medial rectus muscle, which is innervated by Cranial nerve III...

), while for an object farther away they rotate 'away from each other' (divergence
Divergence (eye)
In ophthalmology, divergence is the simultaneous outward movement of both eyes away from each other, usually in an effort to maintain single binocular vision when viewing an object. It is a type of vergence eye movement.-References:...

). Exaggerated convergence is called cross eyed viewing (focusing on the nose
Human nose
The visible part of the human nose is the protruding part of the face that bears the nostrils. The shape of the nose is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum, which consists mostly of cartilage and which separates the nostrils...

 for example). When looking into the distance, or when 'staring into nothingness', the eyes neither converge nor diverge.
Vergence movements are closely connected to accommodation
Accommodation (eye)
Accommodation is the process by which the vertebrate eye changes optical power to maintain a clear image on an object as its distance changes....

 of the eye. Under normal conditions, changing the focus of the eyes to look at an object at a different distance will automatically cause vergence and accommodation.

Pupil constriction

Lenses cannot refract light rays at their edges as well as they can closer to the center. The image produced by any lens is therefore somewhat blurry around the edges (spherical aberration). It can be minimized by screening out peripheral light rays and looking only at the better-focused center. In the eye, the pupil serves this purpose by constricting while the eye is focused on nearby objects. In this way the pupil has a dual purpose: to adjust the eye to variations in brightness and to reduce spherical aberration.

Accommodation of the lens

A change in the curvature of the lens, accommodation is carried out by the ciliary muscles surrounding the lens contracting. This narrows the diameter of the ciliary body, relaxes the fibers of the suspernsory ligament, and allows the lens to relax into a more convex shape. A more convex lens refracts light more strongly and focuses divergent light rays onto the retina allowing for closer objects to be brought into focus.

Effects of aging

There are many diseases, disorders, and age-related changes that may affect the eyes and surrounding structures.

As the eye ages certain changes occur that can be attributed solely to the aging process. Most of these anatomic and physiologic processes follow a gradual decline. With aging, the quality of vision worsens due to reasons independent of diseases of the aging eye. While there are many changes of significance in the nondiseased eye, the most functionally important changes seem to be a reduction in pupil size and the loss of accommodation or focusing capability (presbyopia
Presbyopia
Presbyopia is a condition where the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. Presbyopia’s exact mechanisms are not known with certainty; the research evidence most strongly supports a loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens, although changes in the...

). The area of the pupil governs the amount of light that can reach the retina. The extent to which the pupil dilates decreases with age, leading to a substantial decrease in light received at the retina. In comparison to younger people, it is as though older persons are constantly wearing medium-density sunglasses. Therefore, for any detailed visually guided tasks on which performance varies with illumination, older persons require extra lighting. Certain ocular diseases can come from sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and genital warts. If contact between eye and area of infection occurs, the STD can be transmitted to the eye.

With aging a prominent white ring develops in the periphery of the cornea- called arcus senilis. Aging causes laxity and downward shift of eyelid tissues and atrophy of the orbital fat. These changes contribute to the etiology of several eyelid disorders such as ectropion
Ectropion
Ectropion is a medical condition in which the lower eyelid turns outwards. It is one of the notable aspects of newborns exhibiting congenital Harlequin type ichthyosis, but ectropion can occur due to any weakening of tissue of the lower eyelid. The condition can be repaired surgically...

, entropion
Entropion
Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelid folds inward. It is very uncomfortable, as the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea. Entropion is usually caused by genetic factors and may be congenital...

, dermatochalasis
Dermatochalasis
Dermatochalasis is a medical condition. It is defined as an excess of skin in the upper or lower eyelid. It may be either an acquired or a congenital condition. It is generally treated with blepharoplasty....

, and ptosis
Ptosis (eyelid)
Ptosis is a drooping of the upper or lower eyelid. The drooping may be worse after being awake longer, when the individual's muscles are tired. This condition is sometimes called "lazy eye", but that term normally refers to amblyopia...

. The vitreous gel undergoes liquefaction (posterior vitreous detachment
Posterior vitreous detachment
A posterior vitreous detachment is a condition of the eye in which the vitreous humour separates from the retina.Broadly speaking, the condition is common for older adults and over 75% of those over the age of 65 develop it. Although less common among people in their 40s or 50s, the condition is...

 or PVD) and its opacities — visible as floater
Floater
Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye's vitreous humour, which is normally transparent. At young age the vitreous is perfectly transparent, but during life imperfections gradually develop. The common type of floater, which is...

s — gradually increase in number.

Various eye care professional
Eye care professional
An eye care professional is an individual who provides a service related to the eyes or vision. It is a general term that can refer to any healthcare worker involved in eye care, from one with a small amount of post-secondary training to practitioners with a doctoral level of education.-Current...

s, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, and optician
Optician
An optician is a person who is trained to fill prescriptions for eye correction in the field of medicine, also known as a dispensing optician or optician, dispensing...

s, are involved in the treatment and management of ocular and vision disorders. A Snellen chart
Snellen chart
A Snellen chart is an eye chart used by eye care professionals and others to measure visual acuity. Snellen charts are named after the Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen who developed the chart during 1862...

 is one type of eye chart
Eye chart
An eye chart is a chart used to measure visual acuity. Types of eye charts include the logMAR chart, Snellen chart, Landolt C, and the Lea test.-Procedure:Charts usually display several rows of optotypes , each row in a different size...

 used to measure visual acuity
Visual acuity
Visual acuity is acuteness or clearness of vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain....

. At the conclusion of an eye examination
Eye examination
An eye examination is a battery of tests performed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or orthoptist assessing vision and ability to focus on and discern objects, as well as other tests and examinations pertaining to the eyes....

, an eye doctor may provide the patient with an eyeglass prescription
Eyeglass prescription
An eyeglass prescription is an order written by an eyewear prescriber, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, that specifies the value of all parameters the prescriber has deemed necessary to construct and/or dispense corrective lenses appropriate for a patient.If an examination indicates that...

 for corrective lens
Corrective lens
A corrective lens is a lens worn in front of the eye, mainly used to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Glasses or "spectacles" are worn on the face a short distance in front of the eye. Contact lenses are worn directly on the surface of the eye...

es. Some disorders of the eyes for which corrective lenses are prescribed include myopia
Myopia
Myopia , "shortsightedness" ) is a refractive defect of the eye in which collimated light produces image focus in front of the retina under conditions of accommodation. In simpler terms, myopia is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in...

 (near-sightedness) which affects one-third of the population, hyperopia
Hyperopia
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, longsightedness or hypermetropia, is a defect of vision caused by an imperfection in the eye , causing difficulty focusing on near objects, and in extreme cases causing a sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance...

 (far-sightedness) which affects one quarter of the population, and presbyopia
Presbyopia
Presbyopia is a condition where the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. Presbyopia’s exact mechanisms are not known with certainty; the research evidence most strongly supports a loss of elasticity of the crystalline lens, although changes in the...

, a loss of focusing range due to aging.

Eye care professionals

The human eye contains enough complexity to warrant specialized attention and care beyond the duties of a general practitioner
General practitioner
A general practitioner is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education for all ages and both sexes. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities...

. These specialists, or eye care professionals, serve different functions in different countries. Each eye care professional can typically be categorized into one or a multiplicity (i.e. an ophthalmologist can perform surgery; and in some instances prescibe lenses, which is a duty often performed by optometrists) of duties of the following types of professionals:
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Orthoptists
  • Optometrists
  • Opticians

See also

  • Eye color
    Eye color
    Eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character and is determined by two distinct factors: the pigmentation of the eye's iris and the frequency-dependence of the scattering of light by the turbid medium in the stroma of the iris....

  • Mammalian eye
    Mammalian eye
    -Dimensions:Dimensions vary only 1–2 mm among humans. The vertical diameter is 24 mm; the transverse being larger. At birth it is generally 16–17 mm, enlarging to 22.5–23 mm by three years of age. Between then and age 13 the eye attains its mature size...

  • Optometry
    Optometry
    Optometry is a health care profession concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Optometrists, or Doctors of Optometry, are state licensed medical professionals trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision,...

  • Ophthalmology
    Ophthalmology
    Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems...

  • Blink
    Blink
    Blinking is the rapid closing and opening of the eyelid. It is an essential function of the eye that helps spread tears across and remove irritants from the surface of the cornea and conjunctiva. Blink speed can be affected by elements such as fatigue, eye injury, medication, and disease...

  • Ora serrata
    Ora serrata
    The ora serrata is the serrated junction between the retina and the ciliary body. This junction marks the transition from the simple non-photosensitive area of the retina to the complex, multi-layered photosensitive region. In animals in which the region does not have a serrated appearance, it is...

  • Hyaloid canal
    Hyaloid canal
    Hyaloid canal is a small transparent canal running through the vitreous body from the optical nerve disc to the lens; in the fetus it contains a prolongation of the central artery of the retina, the hyaloid artery...


External links

3D Interactive Human Eye
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK