Composed of more than two million separate working parts, the eyes are some of the most intricately structured organs in the body, and are second only to the brain in overall complexity. However, because most of us are able to rely on the use of our eyes every day, it can be easy to take them for granted. At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, board certified ophthalmologist Dr. William Segal and consultative optometrist Dr. Marc Lay routinely provide patients from all across Georgia with a wide array of eye care services, ranging from routine vision exams for prescription eyewear and comprehensive medical eye exams to advanced eye disease treatment and even refractive laser eye surgery, so we are well acquainted with just how amazing the eyes can be. Here are some interesting things that you may not have known about your eyes.
The eyes contain around 107 million light sensitive cells and can distinguish between roughly 10 million different colors. Under the right conditions and lighting, they can detect the light of a single candle from up to 14 miles away. If the eye was a digital camera, it would have 576 megapixels. For comparison, the highest quality camera phones usually have between eight and twelve.
Eyes are Resilient
Although they may seem delicate, the eyes are actually much stronger than you might think. The most active muscles in your body are the ones that control the focus and orientation of the eyes, and they are approximately 100 times stronger than necessary to perform their function. The eyes also heal quickly; with proper care it only takes about 48 hours for the eye to recover from a scratched cornea.
Eyes are Self-Cleaning
About 12 to 17 times every minute, the eyes blink in order to spread natural oils and mucus secretions across the surface of corneas, keeping them clean and moist. That’s about 10,000 to 14,000 times during an average day and between 3.6 and 5.2 million times a year. Problems in tear production can result in chronic dry eye, an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that may require eye surgery to remedy.
Eyes are Imperfect
Each of your eyes has a small blind spot where the optic nerve attaches to the more than 100 million separate light-sensitive cells that line the back of the retina. You don’t notice the hole in your vision because your eyes work together to fill in each other’s blind spot. In fact, your brain is constantly working to edit out visual distortions and blend the separate images from your two eyes, which is the reason behind most common optical illusions.
Eyes are Unique
The network of blood vessels that supplies the cells of the retina forms a pattern that is as personal as a fingerprint, and that pattern does not change as we grow older. This makes optical scans ideal for identification and security purposes. In fact, a fingerprint only has about forty unique characteristics while an iris generally has more than two hundred and fifty.
Unfortunately, all this complexity and sophistication means that the eyes can be subject to problems. That is one of the most important reasons why we recommend that our patients undergo comprehensive medical eye examinations in addition to routine vision exams on a regular basis. If you are having difficulty with your vision, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment for an eye exam, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.