The retina is a thin layer of tissue located inside the eye at the back, near the optic nerve. It covers about 65% of the interior surface and is responsible for receiving light that has passed through the cornea and been focused by the lens. It then turns that light into neural signals and sends them on to the brain to create visual images.

How the Retina Works

The retina contains a layer of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones. These are light- sensitive cells that detect qualities such as color and light intensity. Cones perform in bright light and give detailed colored images. In contrast, rods are exceedingly sensitive and perform in light that is too dim for the cones, but are unable to distinguish color, or create a well-defined image. There are approximately 125 million of these cells intermingled over the retina. In the middle of the retina is fovea centralis, the center of the eye’s sharpest vision and the most color reception.

The Fovea Centralis

The Fovea Centralis is made up exclusively of cones and they are smaller and more densely packed than anywhere else on the retina. The information from these cells is processed and sent on to the brain through the optic nerve. The brain then takes this information and uses it to decide what it is you are looking at.

The retina is absolutely vital to your vision. Damage to it can cause permanent vision loss or complete blindness.