It’s no coincidence that your eyes and brain are located in such close proximity to each other. It’s because they work in tandem, transmitting signals and information between each other. This is what allows you to process the physical world and assess the depth, size, and distance of your surroundings so that you can navigate daily life.

Your eyes and brain work together to create your visual experience of the world

The optic nerve is the crucial link

The key to this information exchange is the optic nerve, which is actually a bundle of several nerves that operate together. 

What would happen if information stopped traveling along the optic nerve? Your eyes would still take in visual data but there would be no way for you to make sense of it or remember it because it wouldn’t reach the brain, which is where that data gets processed. 

Why brain trauma affects vision

The profound connection between the eyes and the brain becomes even clearer in the presence of damage or illness. Take concussions as an example. Concussions, which are a form of trauma to the brain, also have a huge impact on vision. Common symptoms include blurred or double vision and an inability to focus on and track objects. These issues can be treated with vision therapy that re-teaches the eyes and brain how to work cooperatively. 

Your eyes can hold clues about your brain’s health

Another good example of how the brain and eyes essentially behave as a single unit can be seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies indicate that Alzheimer’s, a condition affecting the brain, can now be detected by examining a patient’s eyes. The test involves scrutinizing the optic nerve and blood vessels in the eyes for markers of the diseases. 

An even more incredible finding of these studies is that the state of the blood vessels could indicate whether or not Alzheimer’s runs in a patient’s family. The blood vessels of patients who did have a family history of the disease showed alterations that were akin to, but less severe than, those of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.  

Protect your eyes and brain with a check-up

Make sure your eyes (and brain) are in good health. Schedule an appointment for an eye exam at Hollywood Vision Center today.