Dr. Anthony Roberts, founder and chief of ophthalmology at Shady Grove Ophthalmology in Maryland, performs a variety of vision-related procedures including Lasik, cataract surgery, and refractive lens exchange. In doing this work, Dr. Anthony Roberts draws on a detailed knowledge of the lens and how it works within the eye.
In a healthy human eye, the lens serves to focus rays of light onto the retina, which transforms those light signals into visual images. The focusing ability of the lens stems largely from its ability to change shape, which it does thanks to its connection with the surrounding ciliary muscles. These muscles stretch and contract the lens so that it can focus clearly on objects at varying distances.
In its natural state, the lens is typically about 10 mm in width and 4 mm thick. It is curved in both the front and the back and is ellipsoid, meaning that it most closely resembles an elongated sphere. The outer boundary of this shape is created by the lens capsule, a smooth and transparent layer of cells.
Inside the capsule are the lens fibers, which are long and thin in shape and also transparent. These make up the functional structure of the lens. Between the lens fibers and the capsule is the lens epithelium, which provides stability to lens function and is responsible for creating more lens fibers as required to keep the lens working well over a person’s lifetime.