Blindness and vision loss continues to be a major and often overlooked health problem in Australia. To help address this issue, The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Eye Foundation’s JulEYE campaign encourages all Australians to have their eyes tested in July.
It’s also an opportune time to acknowledge how amazing our eyes are, so here are 10 top eye facts, courtesy of Optometry Australia.
1. We blink around 10-15 times a minute and around 6.3 million times a year.
2. Our eyeballs remain the same size from birth to death while our noses and ears will continue to grow.
3. An eye is composed of more than two million working parts including over one million nerve fibres which connect each eye to the brain. As a result of this maze of nerve fibres, an eye cannot be transplanted as it is currently not possible to reconstruct these connections.
4. We might pump iron, compete in triathlons and climb mountains but the most active muscles in our body are those that control our eyes.
5. An iris has 256 unique characters – 6.4 times that of a fingerprint – which makes a retina scan ideal for security.
6. An average eyeball is 24 millimetres wide. It weighs only 28 grams yet it contains around 107 million light-sensitive cells.
7. The real machine behind our sight is our brain. Our eyes are mere cameras that capture light and they send this data back to the brain to be interpreted into shapes, colours and images.
8. Our retinas actually perceive the world upside down and it is our brain that flips the image the right way up for us.
9. You’ve heard of 50 Shades of Grey, well the human eye can see 500 shades of grey. And red, blue and green which are the only colours we can see – all other colours are a combination of these.
10. Our eyelashes play an important function in keeping dirt out of our eyes while our eyebrows are there to prevent sweat dripping into our eyes.