20 Interesting Things About The Eyes

20 Interesting Things About The Eyes

  1. Eyes first evolved around 500 million years ago. Scientists estimate that eye first evolved 500 million years ago, originally in a very simple form that could probably only distinguish light from dark.
  1. The most common eye colour in the world is brown. With over 55% of the world’s population having brown eyes, it remains the most common colour. Eye colour is determined by genetics, because they dictate how much melanin is produced in your iris.
  1. The cornea is the transparent covering of the iris and pupil. It protects your eyes from dirt and germs, as well as some of the sun’s UV rays. If your cornea becomes damaged you will experience distorted vision, because the light that enters your eye is interfered with.
  1. 20/20 vision just means you have normal eyesight. Contrary to popular belief, having 20/20 vision isn’t anything remarkable. Rather, it means that you can read a chart from 20 feet away in normal lighting conditions.
  1. A woman’s eyesight can be affected by pregnancy. While hormones are raging and physical changes are occurring, it is possible for a woman to experience problems with her sight. These are usually minor and temporary conditions such as blurred vision and dry eyes, and will go away once the child is born.
  1. Your eyes become tired when you read or stare at a computer for extended periods of time. This is because you blink less often and you are not relaxing the muscle inside your eye. If this happens to you often, you should make sure that you have an up-to-date prescription.
  1. Smokers have almost double the chance of experiencing dry eye. Tobacco smoke is known to irritate eyes - even second hand exposure to the smoke can worsen dry eye, particularly for contact lens wearers.


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  1. The sun’s rays have been linked to eye damage. Several eye conditions, such as cataracts and pterygia, have been associated with exposure to UV rays. To protect your eyes from the dangers of the sun, you should wear well fitted sunglasses, preferably a wraparound style.
  1. While a fingerprint has 40 unique characteristics, an iris has 256. This is why retinal scans are increasingly being used for security purposes. A retinal scanner uses infrared light to map the unique pattern of blood vessels on a person’s retina. This pattern is so intricate that even identical twins do not have the same configuration.
  1. Tears help protect our eyes from infection. Any dirt and dust that has managed to pass the defence of our eyelashes and brows is washed away by tears. They keep our eyes clean and moist and a filled with antibodies that fight infection.
  1. There are colours that are too complex for the human eye to comprehend. These are known as “impossible colours”, which cannot be perceived due to being outside the strength of our three types of cone cell in the retina. However, some of these colours can be seen by mixing colour signals from the two eyes, or by looking at special “fatigue templates”.
  1. You should throw away your eye makeup after three months. Creamy or liquid eye makeup, such as mascara, is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause eye infections.
  1. You should never share eye makeup with friends. Swapping your eye makeup can lead to nasty infections. This is because makeup applicators can easily carry bacteria and you don’t want to trade germs with others.
  1. Astigmatism refers to a curvature of the cornea or lens. It is common and usually not a serious problem. It causes distorted vision and toric lenses are prescribed to aid the individual’s sight.


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  1. You blink on average 4,200,000 times a year. The purpose of blinking is to lubricate the eyes. Adults blink around 15 - 20 times a minute, which researchers say is more than the required amount to keep the eyes moist.
  1. Around 99% of the world’s population will first need reading glasses between the ages of 43 and 50. As we age, the lenses in our eyes slowly lose the ability to focus. This means that the vast majority of us will need some form of vision correction in our adult lives.
  1. Cleaning your contact lenses with water will do more harm than good. Never try and clean your contact lenses with water, whether it is bottled or from the tap. This can lead to serious eye infections.
  1. The human eye only sees three colours. The retina has three types of cones; one is sensitive to the colour red, one is sensitive to the colour blue and the other is sensitive to the colour green. These three cones work together to sense combinations of light waves that help us see millions of other colours and shades.
  1. People with blue-eyes share the same ancestor. Originally, all human beings had brown eyes, until a genetic mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Every single blue-eyed person shares this very distant relative.
  1. Male and female brains process colours slightly differently. Research has shown that men and women see colours slightly differently. It is likely that the male hormone, testosterone, affects the way a male brain processes information taken in by the eye. However, the difference is only very small.

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