Exploring the Role of the Retina in Vision-Anatomy and Function

Visual functions and recognition are mostly controlled by the occipital lobe of the brain. The occipital lobe is the part of the brain responsible for interpreting information from the eyes and making it come alive for the person who is viewing it. The retina is part of the central nervous system and is an outgrowth of the brain during embryonic development. The retina is the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye that triggers electrical impulses that are sent to the brain. It is made up of 10 layers containing nerve cells, blood vessels and photoreceptors, also known as rods and cones. There are approximately 120 million rods in the retina that are responsible for night vision and peripheral vision. Ranging from 6 to 7 million, cones are located in the center of the retina called the macula. Cones are active with bright light and are responsible for fine details, rapid movement and color vision. 

When exploring the role of the retina in vision, in terms of anatomy and function, you will soon realize that this tiny part of the eye is quite remarkable. While each person’s individual fingerprints contain 40 unique characteristics the human eye contains more than 6 times that with 256 unique characteristics. The retina doesn’t just allow a person to see finite details, but it sees everything backward and upside. When the brain receives this information, it reorients the image so you can see the world correctly. The signals pass through the optic nerve in between receiving light through the retina to the brain. Within the optic nerve are blind spots known as optic discs. These discs are located in different parts of the eye. Both eyes work together to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle to see what lies in front of you with clarity. 

The retina has 2 blood supplies, 1 within the tissue and 1 underneath the tissue. The choroid is the layer of the eye behind the retina that contains blood vessels that nourish the retina. One of the most serious eye conditions associated with the retina is retinal detachment. This occurs when the retina detaches or separates from the tissues that support it. Not only is quality of vision impacted but if not treated immediately, can lead to vision loss or blindness. If you notice an onset of eye floaters that increase in number, flashes of light or a dark shadow covering your vision, call your eye care provider or make your way to an emergency room right away. 
Prevention for retinal detachment includes regular eye care. For a full retinal examination, call Retina Consultants of Nevada at 702-369-0200. You can also schedule conveniently online by filling out a submission form here at WEBSITE.