Thursday, 21 March 2013


After a dear friend and mentor and my wonderful husband both had cataract surgery this week, I thought I would talk on the wonder of sight and how very fortunate we are to have been blessed with the ability to see.

From the moment you wake up in the morning to the time you go to sleep at night, your eyes are capturing all that happens about you during the day and recording those events. It is the sense of sight that is considered the most complex of the five senses.

Photo Source
As you focus your sight on an object beams of light bounce off it and into your eyes through the cornea, which is located on the surface of your eye - a protective coating so to speak. The light rays then pass the pupil the dark centre of your eye into the lens. As you keep looking at objects the iris of your eye the coloured ring around the pupil shrinks or expands depending on the amount of light available. The lens focuses the image through a jelly like substance called the vitreous humor onto the back surface of the eyeball called the retina.

This retina has 150 million light sensitive cells called rods and cones within only a surface of about your thumbnail. The rods identify the shapes while the cones identify the colour, once this information is collated it is sent to the brain upside down. The brain then turns the image the correct way up and tells you what you are observing in the visual cortex area of the brain. A new born baby sees the world upside down until it develops and learns to turn the picture the right way up.

Due to the sensitivity of the eye it has the eyelid, eyelashes and eyebrows all assisting to keep it free of dust, dirt and sweat particles. Then we have tears which will form to wash away any particles that do make it into the eye cavity keeping it clean and moist. We blink every 2 - 10 seconds for 1/3 second which means your eyes are closed at least 30 minutes a day just whilst blinking, all this happens to ensure the eye is clean.

Photo Source
So much is happening in such a small amount of time each and every time you view something. Now think of all the work that is happening instantaneously as you scan a room, look over a landscape or look at the very fine detail or an insect etc.

Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye called  the crystalline lens that has developed a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibres over time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. Many patients' first symptoms are strong glare from lights and small light sources at night, along with reduced acuity at low light levels. During cataract surgery, a patient's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens's transparency.

Following surgical removal of the natural lens, an artificial intraocular lens implant is inserted. Cataract surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist in a surgical centre or hospital, using local anesthesia, usually causing little or no discomfort to the patient.

Photo Source Magnified view of a cataract
in a human eye seen on examination with a slit lamp.
The Ancient Greeks believed that eyes emitted a small beam of light that allowed them to see. This makes sense as Theia, goddess of sight, mothered the god of the Sun, Helios. Theia is said to be the female counterpart of Aether. This makes sense as she was a daughter of Heaven and mother of the Sun, Moon and Dawn.

Theia (pronounced THEE-ah) is the Greek Goddess of sight and the lights of the sky. She is one of the Titans, daughter of Gaia and Ouranos (earth and sky), and sister-wife to another Titan, Hyperion, God of observation. The Titans were the powerful beings who preceded, and gave birth to, the Greek Olympians. Their three children, Eos(Goddess of dawn), Selene (Goddess of the moon), and Helios (God of the sun), were the personifications of the lights of the sky. Theia also had dominion over precious metals and gems, which seemed to shine with their own light, and was associated with an oracle at Phthiotis in Thessaly, under the title Ikhnaie (the tracing goddess) which could shine light on the future. People came to see the light concealed within the darkness of their problems. Theia’s name, which means “sight,” is also seen as Thea, and she was alternately known as Aithre (clear sky), Euryphaessa (wide-shining), and Ikhnaie (tracing).

She represents the faculty of sight and the ability to assess situations clearly, the removal of the blindfold of self deception.

Photo Source In the frieze of the Great Altar of Pergmon in Berlin
the goddess who fights at Helio's back is conjected to be Theia.
May you both heal speedily and go on to see the world more clearly as a result of the wonderful surgeons who used their skills to remove your cataracts. Enjoy the unimpaired quality of vision again noticing that the colours are brighter, images are sharper, and objects that were hard to see before surgery are back in focus again. With your improved vision overall life satisfaction and enjoyment of all will be immeasurable.  

No comments: