The eyes are thought of being the window to your soul. Now, that may not be a proven fact, but what is, is that they do feed the brain with visual information. Your sight is part of your five senses, but that’s not all. Here are 10 fascinating facts about your eyes:
1. In the blink of an eye is very fast, right? Well, that saying comes from the fact that the eye is the fastest muscle in the body. Not only quick, it is also the most active muscle. Generally, you blink 15-20 times per minute or 10% of your waking hours.
2. Do you have beauty marks? Well, whether you do or not, the inside of your eye may have one. This mole, called Choroidal Nevus, is usually harmless and is very common. However, like a beauty mark, it is important to monitor it. If your optometrist detects this during your eye exam, they will note it in your file and review it during your yearly visits.
3. Your retina is as unique as your fingerprints, which is why retinal scans are used for security purposes.
4. Your eyes keep growing from the time you are an infant to adulthood. When we are born, the eyes are smaller, or shorter, which results in most infants being far-sighted. As babies interact with their environment, their axial length (which represents the length of the eye) increases to achieve emmetropia, which is the lack of prescription. A person’s axial length can continue to change throughout their life in response to their environment, which is why prescriptions change over time.
5. Long exposures to UVA and UVB rays can cause your eyes to get sunburned. If you’ve spent several hours in the sun without protective sunglasses, your eyes may become watery, itchy and sensitive to the light, or dry and grainy feeling. Repeated unprotected exposure to sunlight can have long-term consequences such as cataracts and macular degeneration. This is why we recommend using quality sunglasses when enjoying the outdoors, even if it’s overcast.
6. Did you know that your eyes get their color from a pigment called melanin? This natural pigment is also found in your skin, hair and inner ear. If you have brown eyes, then it is simply because you have more melanin than people with blue eyes.
7. Scientists believe that the first blue-eyed person lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, and that if you have blue eyes, that person is your ancestor.
8. Experts say that roughly 80% of what you learn is from information that is presented visually, making your eyes one of the most important sensory organs. If ever your sense of taste or smell ever stopped working, your eyes will protect you from danger.
9. Much like a camera’s aperture, the iris controls the amount of light that enters the eye, by adapting the size of the pupil to regulate the amount of light that reaches the back of the eye.
10. Do you have 20/20 vision? Although it is thought to mean perfect vision, it is in fact normal vision. It means that you can read a chart 20 feet away, which is the standard in evaluating eyesight, under normal lighting conditions.