Sight is something many of us take for granted. If you have followed the growth of the app, Be My Eyes, then you know that for all our advances in helping the blind, having sight is a necessity to improve our safety and ability to function efficiently. Sight dependent occupations, such as surgeons and pilots, know all too well the importance of having the correct vision.
Understanding the basics of how the eye works
Most people misunderstand how the eye works, imaging it to take a “picture” of what it sees and allowing the brain to recognise and interpret the image. In reality, the eye takes in light. The light comes in as a range of spectrum through the cornea and then begins the process of being brought into focus and then converted into an electrochemical signal. That signal is then sent along the nerve pathways to the brain. It is by learned recognition, or knowledgable association, that the brain then gives this sequence of electrochemical signals a visual name. This is how we can recognise a striped horse as a zebra whether the image is in black and white, colour, or the zebra is right in front of us.
Accurate vision means the correct decisions are made
The difference between the surgeon on TV and the surgeon in real life is that the one in real life uses surgical loupes in order to see clearly and take the correct actions. Having accurate vision is important. It is rare that the surgeon will only use one loupe as the different magnification levels allow them to see varying degrees of details. Like a watchmaker, different vision needs arise as you work deeper into an intricate body. Not being able to see clearly can have the effect of driving in a fog, important and critical details may be missed.
The right vision can help save your posture, too
The more you squint, bend, and hold items closer to bring them into focus, the more you force your body into an unnatural posture. Think of the surgeon again. Posture-related problems are notorious in this profession. Much of these could be avoided by revisiting how vision needs are handled during the process of surgery. Pilots can also benefit from attending to corrected vision needs. They need both a close and mid-range vision distance that they can switch between with ease. Leaning forward and back in a cramped cockpit is not going to be beneficial to their body.
Vision is about more than just taking things in; it’s about your emotional life
We know that one of the pleasures of travelling the world is the sight-seeing it allows. Sight-seeing isn’t just a momentary experience, the images that we see, we process and tie to thoughts and feelings to create memories. A view of the Swiss Alps from an airplane as you descend through the clouds will create different memories depending on whether you are descending on your way to accept an award or are arriving to start a ski holiday. The sight of the Alps will form the key in your brain to unlock that memory.
Family is another surprising bonus of sight. The ability to see and to watch as your family grows and changes is part of what can make your bond all the more stronger. It can also serve to keep your family safe. How many of us have seen a potentially dangerous situation our children were getting ready to enter and been able to intercede so they stay safe? Without clear vision, that ability goes away.
Taking care of your vision means using the right tools
From lights to loupes, making sure you are using the right tools will help ensure that you are taking care of your vision correctly. Add to this the task taking care of yourself physically and you will find your vision remaining accurate far longer. Plenty of rest and a good diet can help extend the quality of your vision and let the right tools support you in the complex tasks you face each day.