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They also help spread tears , which keep the eye moist and wash away anything that gets past the eyelids. Tears are produced in the lacrimal glands and contain antibodies and anti-bacterial enzymes. The tears that your lacrimal glands produce regularly are drained away into the nasal cavity. When you produce extra tears, though, they will spill out — this is called crying! In order to see, your eye must focus light on the retina, convert the light into electrical impulses, and send those impulses to your brain to be interpreted.

It is an amazing and complex process, but you do it constantly without even trying! Focusing the light. When light bounces off an object and reaches the eye, it must be bent so that its rays arrive at the retina in focus. Four different surfaces bend the light as it enters the eye: the cornea, the aqueous humor, the lens, and the vitreous humor. When all four of these bend the light appropriately, you see a focused image of the object. The eye can focus objects at different distances because the ciliary muscles push and pull to make the lens change shape.

When you look at an object that is far away, the ciliary muscles relax and the lens has a flattened shape. When you look at an object that is close by, the ciliary muscles are contracted and the lens is thickened. This is one of the features that makes the eye superior to any manmade camera. To adjust a camera lens for the distance of an object, you must move the whole lens forward or back. If our eyes worked the same way, we would need long tubes sticking out of our eyes so the lenses could move back and forth.

Instead, our lenses just change shape to adjust for the distance of an object. This takes up much less room, and is probably more attractive! In addition to focusing the light, your eye can control how much light gets in. The colored part of your eye, called the iris, controls the size of the pupil, the opening that lets light through. In dim light, the iris will cause your pupil to expand, allowing as much light as possible into your eye. In bright light, the iris causes the pupil to contract so that less light can enter.

Converting the light. What happens when the focused light reaches your retina? It triggers a complex chemical reaction in the light-sensitive rod and cone cells. These chemicals undergo a transformation that results in electrical impulses being sent to the brain through the optic nerve. Interpreting in the brain. When the electrical impulses arrive in the visual cortex of the brain, the brain analyzes the color and light information from the rods and cones and interprets them as light.

The brain flips the image the light was projected on your retina upside down and fills in for the blind spot if necessary read more on this in the science project below. All this happens almost instantaneously, allowing you to read a book or enjoy a beautiful sunset. Some of the information from the retina is sent to the visual reflex system in your brain. This allows you to react quickly to visual threats. If you see something coming toward your head, your visual reflex system processes this and causes you to duck before you have time to think about it! It sets a standard for what most people should be able to see when they stand 20 feet away from the chart.

The higher the second number, the worse your vision is. This will only give you an approximate idea of your vision.

Your optometrist has much more precise tools to find out exactly how well you can see. Each line of the chart is labeled on the left side. Tape the eye chart to a wall, making sure it is in plenty of light. Stand twenty feet away from the chart and begin reading each line. Have a family member or friend watch to see that you are reading each letter correctly.

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15 Science Experiments You Can Do With Your Kids

The last line that you are able to read will give you an approximate idea of your vision. Now try covering one eye and just testing the other one. Is one eye better than the other? Have all of your family members try reading the chart. Do some of you have better vision than others? If you wear glasses, what is your vision with them on and what is it without them? Open the PDF and choose Print. You will need to trim the edges so the pieces match up, and then tape or glue them together. The spot where your optic nerve connects to your retina is called the optic disc.

This is your blind spot. Focus on the square with your right eye, and slowly move the paper toward you.

When the circle reaches your blind spot, it will disappear! Try again to find the blind spot for your other eye. Close your right eye and focus on the circle with your left eye. Move the paper until the square disappears. What happened when the circle disappeared? Did you see nothing where the circle had been? No, when the circle disappeared, you saw a plain white background that matched the rest of the sheet of paper.


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Try the experiment again on a piece of colored paper. When the circle disappears, the brain will fill in whatever color matches the rest of the paper. It can also make other changes to what you see. Try drawing two filled-in rectangles side by side with a circle in between them. A few inches to the right of this, draw a square. Close your right eye and focus your left eye on the square. Move the paper until the circle disappears and the two separated bars become one bar. How did that happen? The circle in between the bars fell on your blind spot. When it disappeared, the brain filled in for the missing information by connecting the two bars!

Here is one final experiment with your blind spot. Draw a line down the center of your page. On one side draw a small square and on the other draw rows of circles. Color the center circle red and all the others blue. Close your left eye and look at the square with your right eye. As you move the paper, the red circle should disappear and be replaced by a blue one! Or maybe you are farsighted and have trouble seeing things close-up.

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Both of these conditions occur because of the shape of the eyeball. The blood vessels and the optic nerve the nerve that conducts electrical impulses to the brain; see the following article to learn more connect to the retina at a spot called the optic disc. On this disc there are no rods and cones; this is your blind spot.

The macula is a small spot in the center of your retina. On this spot is a small pit called the fovea. When light is focused on this spot we get the sharpest image, because the fovea contains very tightly-packed photoreceptor cells. Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that is caused by the deterioration of the macula and results in partial blindness. The area between the cornea and the lens is filled with a transparent liquid material called the aqueous humor.

The area between the lens and the retina contains a clear gel-like substance called the vitreous humor. Both of these humors help give shape to the eye and are part of the focusing process. Your eye is a very delicate organ. The sclera and cornea protect the inner parts of the eye, but there are other protective parts as well.

Learn about Your Eye and How Vision Works!

Most obvious are your eyelids. With the eyelashes , your eyelids help keep outside particles from getting in your eye. They also help spread tears , which keep the eye moist and wash away anything that gets past the eyelids. Tears are produced in the lacrimal glands and contain antibodies and anti-bacterial enzymes. The tears that your lacrimal glands produce regularly are drained away into the nasal cavity. When you produce extra tears, though, they will spill out — this is called crying!

In order to see, your eye must focus light on the retina, convert the light into electrical impulses, and send those impulses to your brain to be interpreted. It is an amazing and complex process, but you do it constantly without even trying! Focusing the light. When light bounces off an object and reaches the eye, it must be bent so that its rays arrive at the retina in focus.

Four different surfaces bend the light as it enters the eye: the cornea, the aqueous humor, the lens, and the vitreous humor. When all four of these bend the light appropriately, you see a focused image of the object. The eye can focus objects at different distances because the ciliary muscles push and pull to make the lens change shape. When you look at an object that is far away, the ciliary muscles relax and the lens has a flattened shape.

When you look at an object that is close by, the ciliary muscles are contracted and the lens is thickened. This is one of the features that makes the eye superior to any manmade camera.

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To adjust a camera lens for the distance of an object, you must move the whole lens forward or back. If our eyes worked the same way, we would need long tubes sticking out of our eyes so the lenses could move back and forth. Instead, our lenses just change shape to adjust for the distance of an object.

Choose Your Test

This takes up much less room, and is probably more attractive! In addition to focusing the light, your eye can control how much light gets in. The colored part of your eye, called the iris, controls the size of the pupil, the opening that lets light through. In dim light, the iris will cause your pupil to expand, allowing as much light as possible into your eye. In bright light, the iris causes the pupil to contract so that less light can enter. Converting the light.

What happens when the focused light reaches your retina? It triggers a complex chemical reaction in the light-sensitive rod and cone cells. These chemicals undergo a transformation that results in electrical impulses being sent to the brain through the optic nerve. Interpreting in the brain. When the electrical impulses arrive in the visual cortex of the brain, the brain analyzes the color and light information from the rods and cones and interprets them as light. The brain flips the image the light was projected on your retina upside down and fills in for the blind spot if necessary read more on this in the science project below.

All this happens almost instantaneously, allowing you to read a book or enjoy a beautiful sunset. Some of the information from the retina is sent to the visual reflex system in your brain. This allows you to react quickly to visual threats. If you see something coming toward your head, your visual reflex system processes this and causes you to duck before you have time to think about it! It sets a standard for what most people should be able to see when they stand 20 feet away from the chart.

The higher the second number, the worse your vision is. This will only give you an approximate idea of your vision. Your optometrist has much more precise tools to find out exactly how well you can see. Each line of the chart is labeled on the left side. Tape the eye chart to a wall, making sure it is in plenty of light. Stand twenty feet away from the chart and begin reading each line. Have a family member or friend watch to see that you are reading each letter correctly. The last line that you are able to read will give you an approximate idea of your vision. Now try covering one eye and just testing the other one.

Is one eye better than the other? Have all of your family members try reading the chart. Do some of you have better vision than others? If you wear glasses, what is your vision with them on and what is it without them? Open the PDF and choose Print. You will need to trim the edges so the pieces match up, and then tape or glue them together. The spot where your optic nerve connects to your retina is called the optic disc. This is your blind spot. Focus on the square with your right eye, and slowly move the paper toward you. When the circle reaches your blind spot, it will disappear!

Try again to find the blind spot for your other eye. Close your right eye and focus on the circle with your left eye. Move the paper until the square disappears. What happened when the circle disappeared? Did you see nothing where the circle had been? No, when the circle disappeared, you saw a plain white background that matched the rest of the sheet of paper. Try the experiment again on a piece of colored paper. When the circle disappears, the brain will fill in whatever color matches the rest of the paper.

It can also make other changes to what you see. Try drawing two filled-in rectangles side by side with a circle in between them. A few inches to the right of this, draw a square.