Fascinating facts and myths about your eyes

Fascinating facts and myths about your eyes

The human eye is a complex and fascinating organ.  The intricate process that allows you to see colors and images of the world is beyond amazing. Our ability to see is a precious gift we’ve been given and one not to take for granted.  This window to your world, your eyes are amazingly interesting and but also have many myths associated with them. 

Interesting facts about our eyes

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To appreciate how complex our eyes are, here are some facts about eyes you may not have known:

·      Each minute, the average eye blinks about 12 times or around 10,000 times each day.

·      0.3 seconds is the length of time your eyes are shut when you blink. That adds up to a total of 30 minutes each day.

·      Color blindness affects men more often than women with about one in ten men who have some form of it. 

·      At two weeks after conception, a baby’s eyes begin to develop.

·      When a baby is born, their eyes are already 70% of their adult size.  Our nose and ears never stop growing however.

·      As we age we produce fewer tears and the more likely we’ll have dry eyes.

·      There are more than 2 million working parts the eyes are composed of.

·      Eyes are the second most complex organ in the human body after the brain.

·      Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it takes only about 48 hours to repair a minor corneal scratch.

·      Only 1/6 of the human eyeball is exposed.

·      The most active muscles in your body are the muscles that mover your eyes.

·      Your eyes can get sunburned.  It is called photokeratitis and it can make the corneal epithelium slough off just like your skin peels after sunburn.

Common myths associated with our eyes

·      Myth – Needing glasses means your eyes are not healthy

Fact – Having the need to wear glasses does not mean your eyes are not healthy as it has nothing to do with eye health but rather with normal vision changes that have occurred.

·      Myth – Eye exercises will reduce the need for glasses

Fact – Our eyes do not need to be exercised like other parts of our body.  Eye exercises will not improve or preserve vision or reduce the need for glasses.  Vision depends on several factors such as shape of the eyeball and how healthy eye tissue is, which neither can be corrected with eye exercises.

·      Myth – Reading in dim light will hurt your eyes

Fact – The main thing reading in dim light will do is to make your eyes feel more tired but it is not harmful to the eyes or your vision.  However, it is always best to have adequate lighting shining directly onto the page when reading or doing other tasks.

·      Myth – Carrots are the best food for your eyes

Fact – Most of us have heard of the saying “rabbits like carrots and how many rabbits do you see wearing glasses?”  Carrots do contain vitamin A which is necessary for eye health but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that contain even more antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and E.  Antioxidants protect the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration keeping the eyes as healthy as possible.

·      Myth – It is bad for your eyes to stare at a computer screen all day

Fact – Staring at a computer all day does not damage your eyes but it can contribute to eye strain or tired eyes. When we stare at something like a computer, we tend to not blink as much which can cause the eyes to feel uncomfortable and dry.  Prevent eyestrain by adjusting the lighting to reduce glare or a harsh reflection on the screen, refrain from looking at a computer screen every 20 minutes, and consciously blink often to lubricate the eyes frequently.

·      Myth – Unless you wear glasses or contacts or are older, you don’t need to have an eye exam

Fact – Yearly eye exams are recommended for everyone regardless of a person’s age or health.  An eye doctor checks not only for vision correction needed with eyeglasses or contacts but also looks for common eye disease, how well the eyes work together and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your health. It is often eye doctors who first detect chronic disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes in a person.

Regular eye exams for children are important to ensure normal vision development as children don’t always know what “normal” vision looks like and are unlikely to complain of vision problems.  Undetected learning-related vision problems can lead to trouble with a child’s academic success since good vision is critical and closely linked to the learning process.