What Does the Retina Do?

Things are getting blurry. You can’t seem to identify which is which. From afar, everything seems to be the same. You don’t know what to do. You’re getting confused and…. Wait. Let’s stop being over dramatic. Perhaps you just need to get your eyes check. You might need to use a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses to help you see things clearly.

Your eyes enable you to see the things around you. But how does the eye do this? Well, the eye has various parts that gather the light around you and turn it into nerve signals for your brain to understand. That seems pretty confusing, huh? Let’s just say that you see the things around you as light. It is the light that forms the image in your brain. The eyes simply receive the light and, like I said earlier, transform it into nerve signals for your brain to interpret and understand. All these happen so fast that you are not conscious of how everything works.

So what are these parts? The main eye parts are the cornea, the lens, the pupil, the iris, the optic nerve, and the retina. Among these, perhaps the most important is the retina. Well, what does the retina do? It is basically the one responsible for changing all those light into nerve, or electrical signals. Just simply gathering the light around you will not help you really “see” the things around you. If the light is not changed into electrical signals, your brain cannot interpret it. Thus, it cannot process the information. Think of listening to conversation of another language. You have all those information but you can’t process it because you don’t understand the language. You need a dictionary or a translator to decipher the message. Your retina acts as the dictionary. It translates the light into a language that the brain understands.

How does it do that exactly? Your retina has various receptors, photoreceptors, which are light sensitive. There are two types of photoreceptors in your retina, the rods and the cones. The rods are more sensitive to light than the cones. The rods enable you to see the things around you, the shape and the movements. This is because they are sensitive to the changes in the amount of light. The cones, on the other hand, are less sensitive. But it is the cones which enable you to see the color. Light is composed of the different colors. And the cones of your retina distinguish one from the other. People, who are said to be color blind, either have missing cones or weak cones.

Your retina makes you see the things around you. But it would be useless if the other parts of your eyes are missing. Your eyes, as a whole, are important and should be taken care of.

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