10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes
When it comes to our health, there are a lot of things we take for granted. From how the senses we rely on every day function, to just how hard your body has to work to fight off illness it seems there are a lot of aspects of our health we could know more about. What better place to start than with our eyes…
1. Our eye is a complex organ which works with our brain
When light passes through the lens and hits the retina in the back of our eye, what the eye sees is actually upside-down. The optic nerve therefore sends this message to the brain, which in turn has to flip the image back the right way before we see it. Clever stuff, huh?
2. Tears don’t always mean you’re sad
In fact, the action of your eyes welling-up can be triggered for many reasons. Our eyes are really delicate and if they detect even the slightest particle of dirt, dust or a stray eyelash, chances are your eyes will fill-up and look like you’re crying. This action is the eye’s way of flushing out any bacteria and not allowing it to sit in your eye. Without this reflex, we may have a great deal of eye problems and diseases, so be thankful for this clever way of spring cleaning around your eye.
3. Our eyes grow from birth
At birth, our eyes are roughly 66% of what they will be by the time we’re fully-grown adults.
4. Blue eyes are more sensitive than other colours
If you have light-coloured eyes then you naturally have less pigmentation within the coloured part of your eye (the iris). This in turn means your eyes are more sensitive to light as the reduced amount of pigmentation is unable to block out the light source to the same extent darker coloured eyes can.
5. The sun can damage your eyes even if you don’t look directly at it
Those harmful UV rays aren’t only harmful if you look straight at the sun. Even if you’re out and about in the sun but avoid looking at it, the sun’s rays can still enter your eyes. Make sure you always wear sunglasses when out; even when the sun isn’t particularly bright.
6. Babies are always born with blue eyes
Bundles of joy are born into the world with blue eyes, but this can soon change after birth. The blue colour is due to the absence of Melanin, which develops after birth.
7. Carrots can help you see in the dark… kind of!
Okay so grabbing a carrot won’t help you see in the dark like some kind of bat, but eating carrots – and other fruits and vegetables rich in carotene – is essential for good eyesight as our bodes turn carotene into vitamin D. Without vitamin D, we could contract night-blindness. So in a roundabout way, carrots may help you see in the dark!
8. Staring at a computer screen all-day long can cause harm to your eyes
We’ve all been there; that all-important document for our boss or that one-day spectacular sale at your favourite online store is a must-do. However, staring at a bright computer screen for hours on end can cause unnecessary eye strain and over time you may need glasses when doing computer work. Quick tip: take 20 seconds every 20 minutes to stare at an object 20cm away from you to help your eyes relax when on the computer.
9. Your eyes move even when you’re asleep
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) means that even when you’re sleeping, your eyes flick to and fro. This is because you’re in a deep sleep – and usually is when you have your most vivid and memorable dreams.
10. An eye test can detect health problems elsewhere in your body
Clever things, eyes. During an eye test, these clever organs can usually – and easily – pick-up health problems you may have just by the condition and appearance of your eyes. Once flagged to your optician, he will then speak to your doctor and further tests may be necessary.
Amy writes about eye health for leading designer glasses provider Direct Sight.