The eye is an amazing organ that we often disregard—until it’s not working properly. Every one of its millions of cells and intricate functions help ensure your ability to see clearly, and can pave the way to a higher quality of life. Gadgets like cameras and telescopes mimic their attributes, and eye doctors such as optometrists and ophthalmologists prescribe eyeglasses, LASIK or contact lenses to help them work the way they were meant to. Your eyes are stunning works of art in every one of their minute details.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we think it’s vital to give thanks not only for family and friends, health and career, but for the things that we often overlook. That is, it’s time to give thanks for the ability to see and behold the beauty of life around you.
Here are 5 reasons why you should give thanks for your eyes as you gather with loved ones around the Thanksgiving table.
Your eyes work closely with your brain
Your eyes have been called the window to your soul. But in reality, they should more appropriately be called the window to your brain. The optic nerve, like your internet cable, is a bundle of nerve fibers that shoot information back and forth to enable you to process the data constantly coming your way—and develop a picture of the things around you. With instantaneous communication, your eye-brain combo beats even the highest speed connection.
Your eyes are intricately designed
The world’s tiniest circuit boards are giants compared to the mechanics of the eyes. With more than 2 million working parts, and 120 million cells, the minutest parts are crucial to the way you see. The photoreceptors in your retina are divided into rod and cone cells that enable to you to revel in life’s beauty, to see color, experience vivid detail, and differentiate between black and white. But even at that, scientists are finding that it’s possible that not everyone sees things, like colors, in the same way. Photoreceptor sensitivity or processing variations in the brain may cause us to call colors by the same name—though we might see them quite a bit differently.
Your eyes have a built-in ‘refresh’ system
Dry eyes and eyestrain are becoming more common in the digital age. But the eyes fantastically have a built in mechanism to fight these conditions. Blinking. Your blinkers normally work at a rate of 15-20 blinks per minute, for a span of 100-150 milliseconds. But when sitting at a computer, they blink 66% less. The simple action of blinking generally goes unnoticed—but it’s vital to keeping your eyes moist, refreshed and free from debris.
Your eyes adapt automatically to their environment
Life is ever evolving, and your eyes adjust automatically to accommodate it. If your world literally turned upside down, your eyes would adjust within a matter of days and life would appear normal again. An experiment by an Austrian professor and his assistant showed that despite the initial confusion, the eyes and brain would eventually right the upside down wrong.
Your eyes focus on staying focused
Modern cameras work at incredibly high speeds to focus on the objects around them—yet even so, images can come out blurry and out of focus because life happens fast. The mechanics of the eye are wonderfully similar to that of a camera, controlling the amount of light entering the lens, continually focusing and refocusing, and processing the images through electrical impulses sent to the brain. The eye, when it works as it should, is incredibly fast at making constant adjustments to take life in, at every rapid, beautiful moment.
Whether your eyes naturally see 20/20, or you’ve had your vision corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or through LASIK, you should be grateful for your eyesight this Thanksgiving, and every day. The smallest things often make the biggest impacts on our lives, so give thanks and keep them healthy.