Join Emma and her brother, Jacob, on a healthy vision journey. Learn how important your eyes are, the different parts of the eyes, and what you can do to take care of them. Together with Emma and Jacob, you’ll pick up tips you can use to keep your eyes healthy. You can also share these tips with others so they can do the same.
So, come on! Let’s meet Emma and Jacob as we prepare for our healthy vision journey.
Jacob: Hi everyone! I’m Jacob and this is my sister, Emma. And together, we’re all going to learn about our eyes, what they can do, how important they are to us, and how we can protect them.
Emma: That’s right, Jacob! Plus, we’re going to have some fun. So, come on! Let’s get started.
Emma: We use our eyes from the time we open them in the morning until we close them at night. Our eyes help us see our favorite things, see where we’re going, do our homework, and play sports. So, it’s important that we take care of our eyes. How can you keep your eyes healthy?
Jacob: You keep your eyes healthy by eating right, choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables, wearing eye protection when playing sports, washing your hands before putting them close to your eyes, and knowing your family history.
Emma: That’s right! Sometimes eye diseases can be passed down in the family, so you need to make sure you take care of your eyes now to hopefully avoid trouble later.
Jacob: Emma and I like to draw pictures of our favorite things. One of my favorite places to go is the basketball court.
Emma: What’s your favorite place to go?
Parts of the Eye
Macula is the small, sensitive area of the retina that gives central vision. It contains the fovea.
Lens is the clear part of the eye behind the iris that helps to focus light on the retina. It allows the eye to focus on both far and near objects.
Eyelid is the skin-covered structure that protects the front of the eye. It limits the amount of light that enters the eye and spreads tears over the cornea.
Iris is the colored part of the eye. It regulates the amount of light entering the eye.
Pupil is the opening at the center of the iris. The iris adjusts the size of the pupil and controls the amount of light that can enter the eye.
Cornea is the clear outer part of the focusing system. It is located at the front of the eye.
Sclera is the tough, white, outer coat of the eye.
Vitreous humor is the clear gel filling the inside of the eye.
Fovea is the center of the macula. It gives the sharpest vision.
Optic nerve is the bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carries visual messages from the retina to the brain.
Retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyeball. It sends electrical impulses to the brain.
Emma: We have been sharing the things your eyes help you see and hope you understand that taking care of your eyes is serious business!
Jacob: In fact, you can be an important part of getting an adult you know to get an eye exam. Adults should visit the eye doctor to find out about eye diseases. For instance, glaucoma doesn’t have any warning signs. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or blindness.
Emma: Also, if you or someone you know has diabetes and doesn’t take care of the disease, diabetic eye disease can creep up, too! Be sure to visit the eye doctor to find out more about diabetic eye disease.
Jacob: Taking care of our eyes is important. Don’t forget to use these eye safety tips to help protect your eyes when you are playing.
Eye Safety Tips
Eye injury is just as serious as eye disease. Here are tips to help you protect your eyes from injury.
Remove trash from lawns to get rid of anything that could fly into your eyes while mowing.
Wear safety goggles while mowing your lawn.
Use guards on all power equipment to cut down on flying debris.
Play baseball? Wear a sports eye guard and face guard attached to your helmet.
Play basketball or soccer? Wear sports eye guards.
Play hockey? Wear a face mask and sports eye guards.
Avoid toys with sharp points, spikes, and dangerous edges.
Avoid toys that fly or launch things into the air.
Keep BB guns away from others and use them only with an adult.
Don’t play with fireworks.
Jacob: In addition to keeping your eyes safe while you play, you need to pay attention to any changes in how you see. If you’re having trouble with your eyes, like blurry vision, tell an adult so you can visit the eye doctor.
Emma: Your family and friends are here to help keep every part of you healthy. That includes your eyes!
Jacob: There are always things you can do to help keep your eyes safe. Did you know that the eye has its own “safety” devices?
Emma: For example: Eyebrows keep some light out of your eyes. Eyelids and eyelashes help keep particles out of your eyes. Tears keep your eyes moist and wash away particles that get into your eyes.
Blinking keeps your eyes from getting too dry.
First Aid Tips
1. If particles, like sand or dust, get into your eyes, don’t rub! Immediately wash your eyes out with water.
2. If you get hit in the eye with a ball, rock, or elbow, gently put a cold compress on your eye for 15 minutes. This should make the swelling go down and relieve the pain. Have an adult take you to the doctor.
3. If an object like a stick or pencil gets stuck in your eye, do not pull it out. This is very serious! Have an adult put a loose bandage on your eye. Don’t put any pressure on the object. Have an adult take you to the doctor immediately.
4. If a chemical from a class experiment, cleaning fluid, or battery acid splashes in your eye, wash your eye out with water for at least 10 minutes. Have an adult take you to the doctor immediately.
Emma: Although we have these great “safety” devices on our bodies, sometimes we still get things in our eyes. If something gets in your eye, remember these first aid tips above.
Healthy Vision Tips
Emma: It is important that you take care of your eyes all the time! Here are some healthy vision tips to help you take care of your eyes in school and while you are playing sports.
Jacob: Always protect your eyes and keep them healthy. They’re the only eyes you’ll ever have.
Walk, don’t run, with sharp objects such as scissors, pens, pencils, and rulers.
Use good lighting to avoid tiring your eyes when reading, writing, or surfing the Internet.
Tell an adult if your eyes are bothering you.
Wear proper eye protection when doing hobbies, chores, or school assignments that use chemicals.
Wear sunglasses that block both U-V-A and U-V-B radiation from the sun.
Never look directly at the sun.
Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding, or roller-skating.
Wear proper eye protection when playing sports.
French inventor and teacher, Louis Braille, created this method in 1825. Braille was blind. While at school for the blind in Paris, he met Charles Barbier. Barbier had created a system for writing for the blind where sample messages coded in dots were imprinted on cardboard. In 1825, Braille started adapting this system to create the writing system we now know as Braille.
Emma: Braille is a method widely used to read and write by people who are visually impaired.
Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different set of dots.
Braille is the system of writing for the blind that uses characters made up of raised dots.
The cornea is the clear outer part of the focusing system that is located at the front of the eye.
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may get. All of these eye problems can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Diabetic eye disease includes diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.
Dilate is the widening or enlargement of the pupil so that the retina is more visible.
Eyelash is the fringe of hair edging the eyelid; they close to keep particles, like dust, out of your eyes.
The eyelid is the skin-covered structure that protects the front of the eye. It limits light entering the eye and spreads tears over the cornea.
The fovea is the center of the macula, which gives the sharpest vision.
Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight” because it does not give any warning signs of loss of vision. It is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can cause vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma can be treated with medication, lasers, and surgery.
The iris is the colored part of the eye; it regulates the amount of light entering the eye.
The lens is the clear part of the eye behind the iris that helps to focus light on the retina. It allows the eye to focus on both far and near objects.
The macula is the small, sensitive area of the retina that gives central vision. It contains the fovea.
The optic nerve is the bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carry visual messages from the retina to the brain.
The pupil is the opening at the center of the iris. The iris adjusts the size of the pupil and controls the amount of light that can enter the eye.
The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyeball. It sends electrical impulses to the brain.
The sclera is the tough, white outer coating of the eye.
U-V means ultraviolet. The sun produces radiation that we see as light. But it also produces invisible radiation called U-V or ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation may contribute to the development of eye diseases and conditions such as macular degeneration and cataract.
The vitreous humor is the clear gel that fills the inside of the eye.
Congratulations! You have completed the See All You Can See Activity Book.
Emma and Jacob: Thanks for joining us on our journey and completing the Activity Book!
For more information and to order other healthy vision resources, visit http://catalog.nei.nih.gov/.
NIH Publication Number: 03-5354