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How the Eyes and Brain Work Together
Healthy eyes aren't the only factor in good vision. A complex partnership between the eyes and brain is needed to view a beautiful sunset at the end of the day or read the words on a page.
The Eye/Brain Connection
Light rays enter your eye when you look at an object. Your cornea (the clear layer of tissue over the iris and pupils) and your lens (the transparent disc inside your eyes) bend or refract the rays on your retina.
The retina, a light-sensing layer of cells at the back of the eye, turns the light rays into electrical impulses. The impulses are then sent to the occipital lobe of the brain through the optic nerve. The brain processes the impulses received from each eye and combines them into a single recognizable image.
Your brain also controls the muscles and nerves that serve your eyes, helps you orient your body based on visual cues, and stores images so that you can remember them later. All of these things happen so fast that you're not even aware of them.
When Things Go Wrong
Vision problems can be caused by issues with your eyes, muscles, nerves, brain, or the connection between your eyes and brain. Common problems include:
Improving a Faulty Eye/Brain Connection
Vision issues that affect the connection between the brain and eye don't have to become lifelong issues. In fact, improving communication between the brain and the eyes with vision therapy offers an effective way to treat brain damage due to strokes and concussions. It can also improve eye teaming, tracking, focusing, eye movement, visual memory, or perception problems.
Vision therapies strengthen existing eye/brain connections and may even create new pathways in the brain in some cases. Your vision therapist uses a variety of tools and activities designed to enhance and improve your vision.
During a vision therapy session, you may play a video game that helps you coordinate the movement of your eyes or improve your side vision, or you might participate in a hands-on activity designed to fine-tune your tracking or focusing ability. Balance boards, special lenses, prisms, filters, and other devices and aids may also be part of your vision therapy plan.
Although vision therapy is often recommended for children, it can also be helpful for people of all ages. In fact, the brain may remain surprisingly flexible long past childhood.
Could vision therapy help you improve your vision? Contact our office to schedule an appointment to schedule a comprehensive eye examination.