Looking Inside Your Eye

Do you ever wonder what the inside of your eye looks like? Well, you can actually kind of see it! Kind of. It’s easiest to see when staring at a smooth, brightly lit white wall. Hold on a sec, let me pull up a white screen for you. After staring for a bit, You’ll begin to see little “Floaters”, Little bits of cloudy or stringy forms drifting around. What you’re seeing are red blood cells that have hemorrhaged from the retina, which is at the back of your eye, and has made it’s way to the watery layer that lubricates the eye, between the retina and the the vitreous body  - the transparent jelly that fills up our eyeball. Since blood cells are sticky, they often link together and form clumps and chains. If you look at these floaters closely, they’re made up of little balls. If you do this again, but lying on your back this time, you’ll notice the little floaters look at little bit sharper and a little smaller. At the center of the retina, there’s a slight depression called the fovea, and there’s a thicker area of water there. So basically the little floaters are sinking down into that depression. They look smaller and clearer because they’re closer to the retina, casting smaller shadows. Just like when making shadows, the closer you hold your hand to the wall, the smaller and more crisp the shadow appears. These floaters are unique to your body. Some people only have a few floaters, while others see larger clumps or strings. But they’re by far the smallest things your can see with your unaided eye. But why do you see the little colorful rings around them? Those are diffraction patterns caused by the light bending around them on the way to the retina. And that's how you look inside your eye. Pretty cool, huh?


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