As I began yesterday stating that as we age, so do our senses, I specified today that we would focus on eyesight. Just as with every part of our minds and bodies, our eyes loose some of their capabilities as we age.
The way our eyes work is that the eyes process light and then the brain interprets what is seen. It is explained by the National Institute of Health (NIH) like this:
Light passes through the transparent eye surface (cornea). It continues through the pupil. This is the opening to the inside of the eye. The pupil becomes larger or smaller to control the amount of light that enters the eye. The colored portion of the eye is called the iris. It is a muscle that controls the pupil size. After light passes through your pupil, it reaches the lens. The lens focuses light on your retina (the back of the eye). The retina converts light energy into a nerve signal that is carried by the optic nerve to the brain where it is interpreted.
Sounds reasonable enough, doesn’t it? Even I understand this simplified explanation. What I did not understand about my own eyes is why they began to change and my sight continues to grow poorer. After reading on further, I learned that the reason for these changes is that my eye structure was changing.
It is not only my eye structure, however, everyone’s changes with age. Our corneas become less sensitive to the light. If we injure them, they may not even realize the injury has occurred.
Our pupils, by the time we are about 60, decrease to about one-third of their original size from when we were about 20. This change means that the pupils may react more slowly in response to changing light.
Our lenses begin to yellow. In addition, they are less flexible and become slightly cloudy (like our glasses if we do not keep them clean from debris). The reason for these changes is that the fat pads that support the eyes decrease in quantity and our eyes literally begin to sink into our eye sockets and because of that our eye muscles are not able to fully rotate our eyes thus making it more difficult to take in our surroundings – or at least all of them.
These are just some of the changes. Tomorrow we will look at more. I realize now just how complicated our gift of sight truly is. There are so many factors surrounding this gift.
Once I get to the bottom of all of this, I will be able to further help my clients in addition to helping myself. Once again I will be able to show them that With Age Comes Respect.