Anatomy of the eye

Myopic eye

Astigmatic eye

Hyperopic eye

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Understanding how the eye works

Your vision is a precious and essential part of your life, and your eyes are marvelous, complex instruments. In fact, your vision is made possible by the interaction of many components.

Cornea (1)
A curved band of strong, clear tissue on the surface of the eye, the cornea focuses light onto the retina.

Epithelium (2)
The epithelium provides a thin protective layer for the cornea and heals very quickly when disturbed.

Iris (3)
The colored part of your eye is actually a muscle that controls the size of the pupil.

Pupil (4)
The black circular area in the middle of the eye controls the amount of light reaching the retina.

Retina (5)
A membrane on the inner wall of your eye, similar to the film in a camera, the retina changes light into images that are transferred to the brain via the optic nerve.

Sclera (6)
The outer white coat of the eye, the sclera also provides protection.

The natural lens (7)
A natural lens behind the pupil changes shape to allow the eye to focus. As you age, your natural lens hardens, resulting in presbyopia - the loss of reading vision.

The window of the eye

One of the most critical components of your eye is the cornea - the "window" of your eye. The job of the cornea is to bend, or refract, light rays so that they focus on the retina at the back of your eye. Refractive errors occur when the cornea fails to focus light rays precisely on the retina. At the
Farmington Laser Eye Center, Excimer Laser Correction is used to improve a number of these refractive errors.

You may be familiar with the term myopia, also known as nearsightedness. Myopia is the result of an eyeball which is too long, or a cornea which is too curved. In both cases, light rays entering your eye fall short of the retina, and objects in the distance appear blurred. If you have this condition, you are not alone; more than 70 million people in North America have myopia.

Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is shaped like a football with two different curvatures. Images appear blurred or ghost like because light rays are refracted unequally. In extreme cases, images both near and far, appear blurred. Many people who have myopia also have astigmatism.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the opposite of myopia. Here, your eye is too short or your cornea is less curved. Consequently, light rays entering your eye fall behind the retina. This results in blurred vision which is worse at near distances than far.

Presbyopia is difficulty with reading or seeing at near distances and is a normal part of the aging process - it is the result of your natural lens hardening. Presbyopia is not a corneal disorder; however, if you have just begun to experience this change and have myopia as well, its effects can be reduced. This is accomplished by intentionally leaving a small amount of myopia in one eye only. The resulting undercorrection allows presbyopic patients to maintain some near vision. This is called monovision.

Other vision disorders, which are not refractive, cannot be corrected with an excimer laser. A physician of the
Farmington Laser Eye Center will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for Excimer Laser Correction during your initial consultation.

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