YOUR EYES ARE ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX PARTS OF YOUR BODY. HOW CAN YOU CARE FOR IT?
elevision, internet, billboards, advertisements – we are bombarded with images day in and day out, and the brain constantly conveys and interprets these images for us. The most important link between these images and their interpretation is eye. Without eyes, our brain would not be able to interpret these images for us. The brain collects the information from the eye and accordingly coordinates our reactions to things.
The eye is the most important sensory organ in the body, and in terms of complexity, is only second to the brain. The function of the eye can be compared with that of a camera. Just as a photographer adjusts camera’s focus, shutter-speed and aperture to make sure that right amount of light is captured for image, the eye uses its various parts to capture accurately what you see. The cornea and lens in the eye provide the focus, while iris adjusts itself to let the ideal amount of light reach your retina.
Eye is made of cornea, aqueous humour, pupil, iris, lens, vitreous humour, retina, optic nerve and several other parts. Cornea, the transparent, slightly convex outer surface at the centre of the eye does not have any blood vessels. It takes nutrients from aqueous humour, the fluid behind it. Pupil is the opening that lets light enter the eye and reach retina. Iris, a circular muscle around the pupil, helps the eye adapt continuously to changing light conditions (Have you noticed that your pupils look bigger when the light is sparse? That’s because your iris opens wide to let more light in). Passing from pupil, the light goes through the lens. Lens is suspended between aqueous humour and vitreous humour, the fluid that fills the inside of the eye. The lens, in turn, focuses the light rays onto retina. Retina converts the image formed by the light rays into nerve impulses. The nerve impulses reach the brain through the optic nerve, which consists of over one million axons, and the brain then recognises the object. Miraculously, the whole process, from the moment light hits the retina to the earliest recognition of basic object identity, takes only about 0.15 seconds.
This is not all. Every eye is a miracle in itself. Eye muscles are strongest in the body, as they work restlessly, even during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.
Though eyes are tirelessly working, the muscles of the eye do need rest. Here are some of the things you could do if your eyes feel tired and sore:
- If you are using computer, regularly use anti-glare screen on your monitor to reduce eyestrain. Use proper lighting by eliminating exterior light as eyestrain is often caused by excessively bright light from outside or harsh interior lighting. Avoid and adjust your display settings for comfort.
- Blink more often. A normal eye blinks for at least 10 times per minute. Blinking helps keep the eyes lubricated, while the eyelashes keep eyes safe from invasion of foreign particles. Blinking helps keep the eyes lubricated, while the eyelashes keep eyes safe from invasion of foreign particles. However, when a person is reading or working on computer, he/she blinks only 3-4 times a minute. This is the major reason why the eyes feel stressed and dried out.
- Exercise your eyes. A good practice would be to gaze at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds after every twenty minutes. Some eye doctors call it the “20-20-20 rule.”
- Use glasses. If reading or looking at the computer regularly causes headaches or vision problems to you, get your eyes checked, even if you are using glasses or lenses. Make sure that you are using right glasses or lenses. Bad quality lenses can damage your eyes. Use UV protected sunglasses during summer.
- Eat healthy. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and collards, oily fish like salmon and tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, oranges and other citrus fruits are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E. They help ward off vision problems like cataract and macular degeneration.
Eye is called window to soul. In Matthew 6:22, Jesus calls the eye “the lamp of the body.” A healthy eye is essential for both physical and spiritual reasons. Things that look “pleasing to the eye” (Gen. 3:6) may not necessarily be good for soul, rather John cautions us of “the lust of the eye” that “comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16). So strong are the allurements of the eyes that Jesus even cautions us to tear and throw them away if they cause us to stumble. Such a radical message flies in the face of the images of rampant sexual immorality and perversion that we are surrounded by today. Bible exhorts us to make a covenant with our eyes, as Job had done (Job 31:1), for if the eye is healthy, the whole body is healthy (Matt. 6:22). How have you taken care of your eyes today?