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The Eyes Have It – Treat Them with Care

Second only to your brain, your eyes are the most intricate organs in your body, consisting of over 2 million working parts per eye. Eighty percent of what we learn and remember is through our eyes. Your eye also has 256 unique characteristics, making it even more distinctive of your identity than your fingerprint. They are the windows to your world and take in thousands of images per day. Therefore, they are more complex than a movie screen.

Ways of Seeing

The simple act of “seeing” an object involves several stages. Light reflected from that object enters your eye. It travels through six components in your eye before it is processed in your brain – all within milliseconds. These components perform the following functions:

  • Cornea – front window of your eye which helps focus the light
  • Aqueous Humor – located on the other side of your cornea; circulates throughout the front part of your eye and maintains pressure
  • Pupil – black round opening in the center of your iris. It dilates or contracts to control how much light enters the eye
  • Lens – similar to a camera when focusing light. It adjusts its shape depending on how close or far away from you the light source is
  • Vitreous – clear jelly which bathes the center of your eye
  • Retina – compared to a movie screen or camera film; lines the back of your eye and contains photoreceptors, or nerve endings, that convert light into electrochemical signals

In addition to these main components, there are a number of supporting parts which help to process light and maintain your eye’s health.

Treat with a Doctor’s Care

Because your eyes are so invaluable in helping you see the world, you should not take them for granted. It is imperative you maintain their health in the best way possible. Children and adults up to 60 years of age should have a routine eye exam every one to two years. Beyond age 60, or if risk factors are present, exams should be conducted annually. You have a choice of two types of eye doctors for your specific needs:

  • Ophthalmologists – Medical doctors who provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery.
  • Optometrists – They provide general eye care and treat most eye diseases; however, they do not perform eye surgery.

A popular specialized instrument doctors use when examining and diagnosing eye conditions is the ophthalmoscope. The magnification of this tool ranges from 5x to 15x and allows for a clear view of the inside of your eye. This device is essential in detecting conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Eat for Eye Health

Eating key foods high in certain nutrients also plays a crucial role in maintaining your eyes’ health. These nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E and are available in various food sources such as fish and leafy greens. Additionally, these foods are beneficial for your overall general health. When maintaining your whole body, you also have a better chance of keeping your eyes healthy.

Play It Safe

It is also critical that you shield your eyes from harmful elements. WebMD details some essential tips for safeguarding your eyes. Among these tips—make sure to wear sunglasses which block 99 to 100% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Furthermore, if your job involves any hazardous or airborne particles, wear safety glasses or goggles. If you spend long periods at the computer, take frequent breaks every 20 minutes to rest your eyes. Periodically, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. For good overall circulation in your eyes and body, get up and move around at least every 2 hours.

Your Eyes Are Treasures

By now, you have a good idea of just how incredible these windows to your soul and to the world truly are. Along with the other important parts of your body, always strive to appreciate and care for your eyes so that you can enjoy your life in the best way possible.

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