Humans are an impressive species, and we have gone miles to achieve feats that seemed impossible.
One of the most impressive parts is how people with disabilities have created sign language and braille to communicate and be as vital as anyone else.
Blindness is a common disability, and you might not go through your life without meeting a blind person.
They are equal to us in every way so let us see if they can express their emotions just like we do and if science can treat blindness;
Can A Blind Person Cry Tears?
A blind person can still cry if they damage their eye provided the tear duct remains intact. People born blind can cry like any other since their tear ducts don’t have defects; they might be unable to cry if an accident damages the tear ducts. It is the same as everyone else.
Everything You Need To Know About Blindness
Humans have only come as far as they have because they understand each other in unique situations.
This allows us to appreciate and know how to live with each other. Let us look at blindness and what it is all about;
Blindness is a total lack of functional vision or total vision loss, which means there is an inability to perceive light or objects.
When blind, your sight loss is severe, so some activities become difficult since you usually use your eyes for them.
Blindness often progresses from visual impairment. The eye works with the brain to create sight. The eye has several parts, including the retina, lens, cornea, and iris.
For you to see, light has to get to the back of the retina for optic nerves to take an electrical image to your brain.
The brain will process the signal to recognize what the eyes are seeing, and this is an immediate process in a normal eye.
In a blind eye, enough light doesn’t get to the retina. Thus there is no signal to the brain, and you can’t perceive light.
Blindness is an issue that affects a large population; about 350 million people are blind globally, and more than 50 million are blind in one eye.
Most of the population that develops blindness is the elderly, and they make up 80% of the blind people.
Sometimes, people can see, but they can’t distinguish between colors; this is color blindness. Color blindness is common in men, and the most prevalent type is red-green color boldness, where people can’t tell shades of red and green apart.
Another type of blindness is night blindness. This visual impairment occurs at night or when the light is dim, but it doesn’t lead to total blindness. Those with night blindness can’t see at night or see stars since there isn’t enough light.
Many diseases might develop later in life and cause blindness. Diabetes causes diabetic retinopathy, leading to the destruction of the retina, so it can’t process the light rays that get to it.
Other diseases that can cause blindness include glaucoma, Onchocerciasis, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, trachoma, and corneal opacities. You can also go blind because of trauma to the eye, such as sports injuries or buns by chemicals.
If you have refractive errors or tumors and the doctors don’t correct them, you might end up blind. The problem is that you need surgery to repair these, and sometimes the surgery can cause blindness since the eye is delicate.
Children can be born blind or develop Retrolental fibroplasia, a complication due to premature birth which can cause blindness in children. Birth defects, Vitamin A deficiency, and retinitis pigmentosa can cause night blindness.
You need to know some symptoms of blindness so you can go to the hospital and get help before it is too late.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you need to see an optician immediately to get a diagnosis and, hopefully, a treatment;
Primary symptoms include; a sensation of a black curtain in your view, floaters in your field of vision, sudden pain in the eyes, and stickiness of eyelids.
Other symptoms include; double vision, sudden blurry vision in one eye, chronic tearing, and a reduction in the field of vision; you should see a doctor.
Could A Blind Eye Regenerate?
Imagine your field of vision shrinking day by day, dimming until eventually you go blind and everything is dark.
We tend to look at blindness as something people are born with, diseases, blindness can start developing when you are a kid or as an adult.
These rare genetic diseases often attack the retina and damage it, making it unable to perceive light; thus, we can’t see. Now imagine if the eye could regenerate, so a blind person could see again.
To understand this, we must understand how the retina works and its relation to the zebrafish. The retina has several layers of cells, each with particular neurons called rods and cones. These photoreceptors convert light to signals that your brain can generate images.
Photoreceptors are not like other cells in the body; they don’t divide and multiply; you are born with all photoreceptors; hence babies have such big eyes. On the other hand, zebrafish can regenerate its bones, skin, heart, and retina after damage.
If a toxin kills the photoreceptors in zebrafish, they will regenerate and rewire themselves to the brain, restoring sight. Zebrafish photoreceptors are similar to humans, and scientists have done a lot of research on the subject.
Scientists can mimic the effects of disorders like Usher’s Syndrome on the Zebrafish to see how the fish will repair their retina. This knowledge will help them know how to fix human eyes.
The leading players behind the Zebra fish’s superpower are long Muller glia cells, stretching across the retina. These cells transform into stem cells that can change into any cell when the photoreceptors die.
The long cells will divide to produce extras that will develop into new photoreceptors. These cells will go to the back of the eye and rewire themselves to the brain. Researchers believe they have the key to how this works.
Despite this, there are still more questions than answers, and scientists continue to ponder over it. We might see a breakthrough soon that will change many people’s lives.
Why Do We Cry?
We will talk about the iris and the amount of tears it produces. You always have tears for almost everything; you cry when sad, happy, or something touches your eye. Humans have special lacrimal glands that produce tears.
Now you aren’t always crying, so the tears can’t stay on your eye; there is a unique tube, lacrimal puncta, which drains old tears away. The eyes can produce as much as 10 ounces of tears each day, 30 gallons each year.
If you look closely, you will notice that the eye produces tears all the time. The basal tears that your eye produces have three layers that will cover the eye and keep dirt out of the eye. The first is a mucus layer that keeps the tears close to the eye by preventing them from flowing off.
On top of it is an aqueous layer that has water to keep the eye wet, safe from dangerous bacteria, and shields the cornea from physical harm.
The lipid layer is an oily outer layer that prevents the other layers from evaporating and keeps the surface smooth.
Reflex tears come in when there is a need to wash off harmful substances or particles. The eye will release reflex tears in more significant amounts when you cut an onion or get dirt in your eye. The reflex tears also have more antibodies to keep any harmful microorganisms out.
When a person is too sad or too happy, it feels like a loss of control in the brain, which can be dangerous.
Therefore, the brain will release emotional tears to stabilize the mood as fast as possible, together with slower breathing and a faster heartbeat.
Scientists still are unsure of why or how the tears are helpful; they could be a mechanism to show submission or elicit sympathy. Some studies show that emotional tears have many stress hormones in them.
In this case, the tears directly calm you down and signal your emotions to other people. You need all three tears to keep you balanced and healthy, so you feel better and don’t get infections in the eyes.
Defects in the retina are the most significant cause of blindness, and they don’t have anything to do with the production of tears in the eye. This means that a blind person can shed tears like any other person when they are sad, hurt, or happy, provided their tear ducts are intact.
Many things can cause blindness in children or adults, and you have to be keen to prevent this. If you notice any issues with your eyes, you need to see an optician for a professional diagnosis and, hopefully, a treatment.