Retina Responsibilties: What Does Your Retina Do?

Your eye is full of quite a few different pieces that each play their part in transmitting light and images to your brain to be processed. One of the most important parts of the eye is the retina. But why is it so important?

You Had One Job
retinal surgeryYour retina only has one job, but it is a very important one: convert the light that the eye has captured into electric signals that the brain can process. All along the back of your eye is a thin layer of cells made specifically to catch and absorb the light that has come through your pupil and lens. This layer of cells is called the retina.

The retina is composed of two different kinds of light receptor cells. Rods are spread out throughout the retina. There are about 125 million rods in your retina, and these are how you can perceive movement and peripheral vision. In contrast, you have about 6-7 million cones in the very center of your retina. Very closely concentrated, these provide you with great central vision. Your cones help you see color and detail.

A good way to understand how rods and cones work in your retina is to think back not too long ago. Do you remember THE dress? The dress that broke the internet because people could not tell if it was blue and black or white and gold? The reason that so many people saw different colors is that the amount of cones in people’s eyes varies. Those with more cones are able to see more clearly and more easily perceive color differences and details. So if you saw the dress incorrectly as white and gold, or even purple and brown, you have fewer cones than someone who saw blue and black.

What’s Next?

After the retina does it’s job of processing light using rods and cones, the images are technically electric signals. These are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve which connects the retina to the brain.

As you can see, the retina plays an important role in your vision, and so it is important to keep it healthy.