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November 17, 2011

Interesting Eye Facts

Eyes are an amazing and extremely interesting part of the body. Through their intricate design and composition, we are fortunate to have the precious gift of sight. I bet most of you have not stopped to think about the complexity of our eyes and the numerous elements that are involved in the process of seeing. Here are some interesting eye facts that you may not have known about your eyes.
  • Your eyes are composed of more than 2 million working parts.
  • We all have microscopic creatures lurking in our eyelashes.
  • The average person blinks 12 times per minute – about 10,000 blinks on an average day.
  • Color blindness is more common in males, about 1 in 10 have some form. In the most common type of color blindness, individuals have trouble telling the difference between red and green.
  • Only 1/6 of your eye is exposed to the outside world.  It is 2.5 cm in length and weighs about 7 grams.
  • The muscles that move the eye are the strongest relative to their size in the body.
  • Your eyes begin to develop 2 weeks after conception.
  • Your eyelashes act like windshields to catch dust and debris before they reach your eyeball.
  • At birth your eyes are about 70% of their adult size, but your ears and nose never stop growing.
  • The entire length of all the eyelashes shed by a human in their life is over 98 feet.
  • The older we are the less tears we produce.
  • When you blink, you shut your eyes for 0.3 seconds. That’s a total of 30 minutes each day!
Many of you have probably been given some false information or been told various myths about your eyes.
The following are some of the most common eye myths. 

Myth: Reading in dim light is harmful to your eyes.

Fact: Although reading in dim light makes your eyes feel tired, it is not harmful.  It is always better to have appropriate lighting when you are reading or doing any task.
Myth: Using a computer, or video display terminal (VDT), is harmful to the eyes.Fact: Using a VDT may strain or tire your eyes, but it is not harmful.  You can get special glasses to wear at the computer to help alleviate eye strain. 

Myth: You can wear your eyes out.
Fact: Eyes do not wear out. You can use them as much as you want!

Myth: NEVER sit too close to the TV.
Fact: There is no scientific evidence that sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes.

Myth: If you need glasses, your eyes are not healthy.
Fact: Wearing eyeglasses has nothing to do with eye health, but with normal changes in parts of your eyes.

Myth: There is no need to check your yes until you are in our 40s and 50s.
Fact: Eye disease can happen any time.  That is why yearly eye exams are important at any age.
Myth: If you eat carrots, you will have good eyesight.
Fact: The vitamin A in carrots helps eyes function well, but it is just one important factor for good eyesight.

Myth: Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals.
Fact: The English optician Samuel Pierce invented bifocals around 1775.

Vision is not something that should be taken for granted. Care for your eyes by receiving annual eye exams to ensure a life filled with beautiful sights.

Dr. Megan Tester


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