Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes

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Few people could argue that without our 5 senses life would be pretty dull. All our senses are extremely important but I think if you asked most people which sense would they least like to lose they would probably say their vision. As with most of our abilities, our vision is something that many of us take for granted. If you stop and think for a moment, you will realize that just about everything we do in our day to day life involves our vision. During this article I am going to try and see if I can get you to start thinking a little bit more about your eyes. Listed below is my top 10 list of weird and wonderful things you didn’t know about your eyes

10.  Everyone needs reading glasses as they get older

reading glasses

This is assuming that you already have perfect distance vision. If you are currently reading this article and are under 40 years of age with perfect distance vision, I can say with absolute certainty that you will need reading glasses at some point in the future. For about 99% of the population the age that you will first start needing reading glasses is between 43 and 50 years old. This is because the lens in your eye slowly loses its focusing ability with age. In order to focus things near to you, your lens has to change from a flat to a more spherical shape and it loses the ability to do this as you get older. As you get to around 45 years old you will start to hold things further away from you to keep them focus.

9.  The lens in your eye is quicker than any camera lens

camera lens'

Just behind the pupil sits the eyes natural lens, whose function is to focus on the object you are looking at. Just take a minute to glance around the room and think about how many different distances you are focusing at. Every time you do this, the lens in your eye is instantly changing focus without you even being aware of it! Compare that with a camera lens which takes a few seconds to focus between one distance and another. Just be thankful that the lens in your eye is as quick as it is, otherwise things would be continually going in and out of focus.

8.  Your eyes are fully developed by the age of 7 years old

child eye

By the age of 7 years old our eyes are fully developed and are physiologically the same as adult’s eyes. It is for this reason that it is vitally important to pick up a lazy eye before we reach this age. The earlier a lazy eye is diagnosed, the greater the chance it will respond to treatment, as the eyes are still developing and capable of an improvement in vision. Beyond 7 years old no amount of treatment will result in any improvement in vision.

7. You blink approximately 15,000 times each day

windsheild wipers

Blinking is a semi- involuntary function meaning we do it automatically, but can also choose to blink if we so require. Blinking is an extremely important function of your eyes as it helps remove any debris on the surface of your eye, by spreading fresh tears over them. These tears help to nourish your eyes with oxygen and also have important anti bacterial properties. You can think of the function of blinking as being similar to the action of the windscreen wipers on your car, cleaning and removing everything to keep you seeing clearly.

6.   Everyone gets cataracts as they get older

cataract

People don’t realize that cataracts are just a normal consequence of getting older and everyone gets them at some point in their life. You can think of cataracts as being similar to getting grey hair, in that it is just a normal natural age change. The average age people first get cataracts is about aged 70 years old and by 80 years old you are guaranteed to have cataracts. In the same way that you could not find any aged 80 years old without grey hair, it would be equally impossible to find anyone over 80 years old without cataracts. Cataracts refer to a gradual clouding of the lens in your eye and typically take about ten years from onset to them needing treatment.

5.  Diabetes is often first detected during an eye test

diabetes

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes (the type you develop later in life) are often symptom free, meaning they often don’t even know that they have it. This type of diabetes is commonly picked up during an eye test as it can be seen as tiny hemorrhages from leaking blood vessels at the back of your eye. This certainly is good reason to get your eyes tested regularly.

4.  You see with your brain and not your eyes

brain

The function of your eyes is to collect all the required information about the object you are looking at. This information is then passed from your eye to the brain via the optic nerve. It is the brain (visual cortex) where all this information is analyzed to enable you to ‘see’ the object in its finished form. This is not to say that your eyes don’t play an important role as they certainly do.

3. Your eyes can adapt to blind spots in your vision

adaptable

Certain eye conditions such as Glaucoma and certain general health conditions such as having a stroke, can lead to you developing blind spots in your vision. This would be extremely debilitating if it wasn’t for your brain and your eyes ability to adapt to make these blind spots disappear. It does this by suppressing the blind spot in your affected eye and letting your other good eye ‘fill in the gaps’. It is adaptation like this that makes your eyes so resilient.

2.  20:20 vision is not the best vision you can have

eagle eye

When people hear the phrase 20:20 vision they assume that this is the best vision possible. However this is not true as 20:20 vision refers to what the average adult should be able to see. If you imagine a typical eye test chart the 20:20 vision is probably only the line second from the bottom. The line below it is even smaller than 20:20 vision and would mean you have 20:16 vision. So don’t be so impressed next time someone tells you they have 20:20 vision!

1. Your eyes water when they are dry

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eye water

I know this might sound crazy but this is one of strange facts about your eyes. Your tears are made up of 3 different components and they are water, mucus and fat. If these 3 components are not in exactly the right quantities, your eyes can become dry as a consequence. Your brain responds to this dryness by producing extra water and hence your eyes water.

by Tim Hardwood


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16 Comments

  1. um your eyes are developed at 7 ? ok no because i had my dads blue eys until i was 8 then they turned green at 13 and they are still green and my mom had brown eyes that turned hazel so no . not all eyes are developed in color at 7 not for me at least .

    • Color isn’t development. Getting a tan doesn’t mean your skin is developing. My eyes changed color in high school. Granted, my vision has been getting better since I turned 25. The Optometrists all say that’s very weird, though. There are always exceptions, I guess. But color and development are not the same thing.

  2. Uhhh…my grandfather lived till he was 91 and read constantly without the aid of reading glasses. So I call ‘BS’ on #1.

  3. Do eyes change Colors depending where you live my Family are from Northern Spain I have Light Green Eyes my Dog Siberan Husky she has Sky Blue Eyes.

  4. In response to #6: My grandfather is 80 years old, and what hair he has left is still nautrally jet black. Just thought I’d throw that bit of info out there lol

  5. These are not facts, the human body is an amzingly powerfull machine, with the ability to adapt and become stronger in the right training and circumstances, for example my dad was an electrition by profession with a high fascination with technology, he regularly worked with tiny components which would need very good eyesight and hand eye co-ordination, my father is now 50 years of age and he has better eyesight than most people half his age with the ability to easily see small things and with no difficulty refocusing to any change in distances. I am 18 years old and with lots of mental concentration, a balanced diet, and rigorous training, my eyesight continues to improve at a steady rate, and do not tire under copious amounts of reading, using the computer etc. If you understand the body, you know that the ability to focus and readjust to distances is controlled by the cillary musle located in your eye near the lenz, with age this muscle becomes weak and the ability to readjust to change in distance is lessened, but like all muscles it can become strong with the right exercise and the right nourishment.
    Tip: Eat a carrot every day to increase the sharpness of your vision.

    • I’m 15 and my eyesight is very good. I do keep myself in shape but I do spend a lot of time on the computer. I have 20/13 vision.

  6. I am 50 since Last Month. I am working for the last thirty plus years in front of Computer Screen. Still I am not using glasses, mean I didn’t have to. But now I feel difficult to read any hard copy with smaller fonts within 12 inches distance unless i use a spot light on the text. The good thing is I can still read anything beyond about 18 – 24 inches away (font size 10 – 12 above) on the screen and even on any surfaces, books or boards. I have no problem reading from the distance.

    Can I still medically develop my eye to gain vision to read closer without straining my eyes. Or do you advise to use a pair of reading glass. Can I wear contact lenses instead of pair of glasses.

    • Your eyes work in a completely different way. You always revive input, the only delay is the time it takes for your brain to process what you see.

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