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Our Ability to See

Emma Lavoie

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Looking out over a mountain, watching a movie in the theatre, reading the board in class. Most of us have the ability to see these things, but others may need a little help. Everyone’s heard of twenty-twenty vision and perceive what it means to be able to see perfectly. Although it’s a little harder to understand what it means to be partially blind. When talking to someone who’s always been able to see perfectly their whole lives, it’s a task to explain to them what blurred vision feels like.

One of the easier ways to comprehend vision is to think about the eye as a tree, they both have layers to them. Every layer helps in the endeavor to see. The iris acts as a camera, opening and closing depending on how much light is available to the eyes. Light then makes its way to what’s called the natural crystalline lens, which is clear and flexible and shortens or lengthens in width to properly focus the light rays. The process continues on until the image reaches our brains telling us what we are seeing. Out of all the layers the cornea is the most important. The cornea is the part of the eye that allows the entire process to happen, its refractive qualities allow it to bend the light in such a way that lets it travel into the pupil. When the cornea gets damaged vision loss is immediate, from then on your sight just continues to get worse.

About 61% of America’s population wears either glasses or contacts. That doesn’t seem to be right, but it is. Most of the time we don’t notice that the people around us are wearing contacts, but that’s kind of the point right? When asked we find that most of our peers prefer contacts, “I got contacts and it changed my look, and I’m happy, and it boosts my confidence” Garrett Young (10) confides. Another student at Hamilton tells that “The most annoying [part] is how easily dirty and scratched the [glasses] lens can get” Brooke Begay (11) expresses.

While on the other side of the spectrum the people who can see perfectly have no damage to their cornea and most likely no one else in their family has to wear glasses either. Ally Carr (10) explains what her understanding of not being able to see is like, “I think it depends on the person, like it’s blurry, not sharp lines, but you don’t realize that you see any different because you don’t know anything else”.

Blurred or not, we all experience the world in different ways; some of us in artful splotches and others in  clear crystalline sharpness.

 

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