Many ancient cultures, from Egyptian to Celtic, used they eye as a metaphor for the sun. Religion looks at the eye as a mirror or window into the soul. At the very least, eyes are a superhighway to the brain, using 65 percent of the pathways to the brain to help us process visual information. But for the brain, they are the most complex organs humans have. Eyes, like many other parts of the body, don’t always work the way they should, and eye problems compound as we age. Ophthalmologists are physicians who specialize in treating eye disorders, Ophthalmology Technology trains students to work with them. Advances in technology and an aging population mean more opportunities in care of the eyes, which continue to inspire philosophers, songwriters and poets. As Henry David Thoreau said, "The eye is the jewel of the body."
Did you know?
- Human eyes have more than 2 million working parts.
- The external muscles that move the eyes are 100 times more powerful than they need to be.
- Eyes are not quite supercomputers, but they can process 36,000 bits of information an hour.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among U.S. adults. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
- Eyebrows and eyelashes do more than decorate the face: Eyebrows are meant to keep sweat out of our eyes; eyelashes help keep the dirt out.
- The first plastic contact lenses were made in 1939 in the United States. Earlier versions, crafted from glass, were uncomfortable, heavy and only wearable for a few hours at a time.
- Vision only starts with the eyes. Images captured by the eye are sent to the brain, which interprets them.
- It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.