The human eye is a complex, biological mechanism that allows us to interact with the visible world in every enterprise from working on a computer to driving a car or threading a needle. Without sight, we would be little more than slugs. Yet most people take sight for granted; until something happens to make them question this everyday miracle.
The human eye is not, however, perfect. Defects in the size or shape of the cornea, lens, vitreous humor (the fluid space within the eye), macula (the focal point), optic nerve or muscles can cause us to see imperfectly. These defects are classed as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (aging eye) or astigmatism, where an irregularly-shaped cornea, on one or both eyes, causes blurred vision.
The most common problems with vision occur as we age, and can include cataracts (a clouding of the lens), age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, a degeneration of the macula, glaucoma (caused by an increase in pressure in the vitreous humor which distorts vision), and diabetic retinopathy, which results from damage to the blood vessels that feed the retina. Models of the human eye can help explain these conditions and diseases to patients and other physicians to help everyone understand how the eyes are affected.
Using larger-than-scale models of the eye, ophthalmologists can demonstrate to patients how, and where, these vision defects occur. This is useful not only for making healthy vision recommendations like safety goggles and anti-glare monitor screens, but also for prescribing corrective lenses or contacts to correct faulty vision. These hands-on models, which are three to five times larger than a real eye, can be disassembled to show the various parts of the eye and their functions, and are especially useful with children, whose natural curiosity engages a respect for vision and a greater tendency to wear the eyeglasses prescribed.
Eye models are also useful for explaining surgical interventions that can improve eyesight or prevent further deterioration, especially to the old, whose memory and concentration may be further affected by the inability to hear properly. An eighty-year-old person will understand macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, a hundred times better by seeing a disassembled model of an eye than by simply listening to an eye surgeon describe what can be done to improve vision.
For medical education purposes, a 20-centimeter, eight-part model of the eye showing the upper half of the sclera with corneal and eye muscle attachments, which subdivides into two halves showing the choroid with its attendant iris and retina, as well as the lens, vitreous humor, eyelid and tear duct system, will provide a wealth of teaching example prior to actual dissection by a medical student, or deliver a concise yet definitive explanation to mature patients on the intricate workings of the eye. Seven-part models are also available, in three- or five-times magnifications.
Some models are available on bases, and all are manufactured of durable plastic compounds with full-color didactics, and sealed against humidity and body oils to last for years, even with extensive handling.
By JAKO5D from Pixabay