The eyes are some the most important part of our bodies. We rely on them almost every minute of the day, yet we rarely think about what it takes for us to see. Our eyes are complex organs, and there are many strange and interesting things about them that most people don’t know. Shed some light on your vision with these 10 incredible facts.
NEWBORN BABIES CAN ONLY SEE IN THREE COLORS
Once a baby is born there are still a few months before they experience their full eyesight. In the first few weeks, babies only see the world in black and white, along with certain bright red objects. This is because their eyes are still developing cones, the photoreceptor cells that allow you to see color.
PEOPLE OVER 65 READ FASTER THAN THOSE IN THEIR 20s
Contrary to what some may think, seniors read faster than every other age groups. In a recent study, people from age 25 to over 60 were tested to see how long they would take to read a passage. Seniors finished the passage an average of 14% faster than those who in their 20’s. While there is no sure way to know why, scientists think it could be the result of heavy screen use in today’s society.
ALL BLUE-EYED PEOPLE SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR
Blue eyes are a fairly recent development for mankind. Originally all our eyes were brown, before genetic mutations created the various shades we know today. Researchers say the first person with blue eyes was born only 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, making blue-eyed people closer relatives than those with any other eye color.
YOUR EYES HAVE THE FASTEST MUSCLES IN YOUR BODY
Your eyes must move extremely fast to keep up with all the brain’s commands. These rapid-fire actions, both voluntary and involuntary, are only possible due to your extraocular muscles. These surround each eye, allowing them to move faster than any other muscle in the body. So the next time you catch a glimpse of something at the last second, thank your extraocular muscles!
A BABY’S EYE COLOR CAN CHANGE AFTER BIRTH
The first years of childhood are marked by constant changes. It’s well known to be the most crucial time in a child’s development, but did you know that can also extend to their eye color? As babies develop eye pigment, it’s common for their eyes to change from bluish-gray to their darker, permanent eye color.
YOU HAVE A DOMINANT EYE
Did you know that everyone has one eye that takes the lead over the other? This can sometimes be the result of one eye having sharper sight, but even when both eyes are equal there will still be one you rely on more. Your dominant eye is the first to report back to your brain and provides most of its visual data. You can even do a test to find out which one is yours. The answer might not be the one you expect.
A GOLD EYE IN PHOTOS CAN BE SIGN OF VISION ISSUES
We’ve all seen the “red-eye effect” that can happen when you get your picture taken, but did you know that the way the glow looks can have huge health ramifications? Glowing eyes are caused by light interacting with blood vessels in the eye and are usually harmless. However, if your eyes show up golden instead of red it could be a sign of severe health issues, including eye cancer, infection, tumors, and more. If you notice a golden glow in you or a loved ones’ photos, we recommend following up with a visit to the eye doctor.
BLINKING PROVIDES YOUR BRAIN WITH A MENTAL REST
Blinking is crucial for the rehydration of our eyes. That’s the reason why we can’t stand to keep our eyes open more than a few seconds at a time. However, scientists recently discovered that blinking provides another benefit – it rests your brain. By monitoring the brain activity of test subjects, they discovered that in the brief time the eye is closed the brain behaves similar to how it does when one is asleep. This helps to prepare the eyes for further activity when they reopen.
THERE’S A NAME FOR THE PATTERNS YOU SEE WHEN RUBBING YOUR EYES
You’re likely no stranger to the sight of colored splotches or a checkerboard pattern when you put pressure on your eyes, but have you ever wondered what they are? Scientists call these patterns phosphenes, a name for the sensation of seeing lights that aren’t really there. Rubbing your eyes causes your retinal cells to misfire, creating a temporary lightshow. Phosphenes are also known to show up when sneezing or experiencing strong migraines.
SITTING CLOSE TO THE TV DOES NOT DAMAGE YOUR VISION
As kids we were often told that sitting close to the TV or reading in the dark can ruin your eyesight, but did you know that there’s no science to back that up? According to vision experts, both activities are no riskier to your vision than viewing things the proper way. However they can strain your eyes, which sometimes leads to headaches. In fact, children sitting close to the TV could be a chicken-and-egg situation, with them sitting close because they already have trouble seeing from afar. If you see this behavior in your child, it’s best to take them for an eye exam as soon as possible.
Tony Rosario is Executive Vice President at GVS. He has nearly 28 years of healthcare experience and has worked in vision care for nearly 20 years. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.