The human eye is truly amazing. Our eyes allow us to see the beauty of the world, to enjoy a fantastic meal before we’ve even started to eat, to warm our hearts when we see our loved ones smile. But, how much do you really know about these amazing features?


Have you ever tried to count your blinks or how long a blink lasts? Or, perhaps you’ve had a staring contest to see how long you can go without blinking. On average, the human eye blinks about 12 times per minute, and each blink typically lasts one-tenth of one second.

Regardless of how frequently you blink or how long your blinks last, your eye has a tiny blind spot that you probably aren’t aware of! This blind spot is part of the retina at the back of the eye. This is where the optic nerve attaches to the retina, and your eyes work together to fill in the blind spots from each eye. Unless you have optic nerve or retinal damage, you may never be aware of the blind spots.

These natural blind spots are nothing to cry over, but have you ever noticed that newborn babies don’t form tears when they cry no matter how upset they get? The human eye, which measures 1 inch across and weighs only one-quarter of an ounce, doesn’t begin to produce tears until a baby is between four and 13 weeks old.


What color are your eyes? Your children’s eyes? Even if everyone in your family has the same color of eyes, if you look closely, you probably are able to see variations. But, did you know that even if everyone in your immediate family and in the previous few generations all have brown eyes, it is possible for a future generation to be born with blue or green eyes? However, it is rare to go several generations without the appearance of recessive traits. Even rarer is heterochromia, a condition in which a person is born with eyes of two different colors.


With all of the functions that your brain controls and carries out day in and day out, it may surprise you to know that although one small area of the brain is responsible for actual sight, all of the functions that go into seeing require the power of nearly half of the brain! That includes the ability to see color, depth, size, shape, movement, and much more. You may have heard of rods and cones in the eye, and these specialized cells have shapes that are exactly like their names imply. Rod-shaped cells allow you to see shapes, while cone-shaped cells allow you to differentiate colors.


When it comes to minor injuries like a corneal scratch, the human eye is able to heal amazingly quickly. The human eye is able to repair a corneal scratch in as little as 48 hours with proper medical care. Further, more than three-fourths of vision problems worldwide are either avoidable or curable. Unfortunately, proper medical care for eye health isn’t available in all parts of the world, and even with care, reduced vision and blindness are still common in the United States. Worldwide, 39 million people are blind and many more suffer from a number of vision problems. Although many eye conditions are treatable and the lens of the eye and the cornea may be replaced, there has yet to be a successful transplant of an entire eyeball.

To learn more about eye health or to schedule a vision screening, call your eye specialist at Silverstein Eye Centers today at (816) 358-3600 for our Independence/Kansas City location.

Posted June 17, 2014 by Silverstein Eye Centers
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