7 Things You May Not Know About Your Eyes

  1. Are your friends laughing at you when you need glasses to read? Don’t worry, they could be wearing one soon enough. No one can escape the need of reading glasses as they get older; this is due to the gradual loss of ability to focus by your eyes. This gradual loss of focusing ability normally starts when you are in your 40’s.
  2. Does crying always means shedding tears? Newborns do not produce tears until they are around 6 -13 weeks old. This means newborns can cry at the top of their lungs and still not produce a single drops of tears.
  3. My eyes are teary, why do you say I have dry eyes? Tears are made up of 3 components: lipid layer, water layer and mucous layer. When the 3 components are not in the right balance, the eyes will be dry. Your brain will respond to the dryness by producing more tears.
  4. It has been well known that human color vision is based on having 3 cone receptors (trichromat) in the eyes. These receptors are mainly red, green and blue. However in the early 90's, researchers have been searching for people who have four receptors (tetrachromat). These people would have a heightened color sense and the ability to see "rare color details."
  5. Have you notice glittery lights after rubbing your closed eyes, sneezing or trying to hold your sneeze? Those glittery lights are called phosphenes. Phosphenes are sensations of seeing light caused by the excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light. There have been cases that someone who is blind is able to experience phosphenes.
  6. Pikachurin, a newly discovered protein found to be essential for vision is named after Pikachu (a famous Pokémon known for its lightning speed). Without these proteins, the light signals will be transmitted to the brain 3 times slower than their normal speed. These proteins are also essential for the way our eyes track moving objects. IMAGINE - without these proteins, we will be banging into things before our brain can let us know about the obstacles. This will be VERY BAD if it does happen.
  7. Topical Atropine is used to temporary paralyze eye muscle accommodation and dilate the pupils. It was initially extracted from the deadly nightshade (Atropa Belladona). Back in the olden days, Italian women would use the sap from the leaves to dilate their eyes, so they would be perceived to be more beautiful. This is why the plant is also called bella (fair) donna (lady), meaning a beautiful woman. This fantastic discovery would then pave the way for the realization of the Topical Atropine drug we know of today.