of all the organs, eyes gross me out the most. i don’t know if its because we had to dissect a cow’s eye in secondary school and weird black fluid oozed out after I did it or if its because i’m uncomfortable about getting so close to someone in order to rule out papilledema that i’m almost kissing them during a physical exam. But in all honesty, most physicians these days can’t really see papilledema unless if you are an ophotmologist. and even then, their patients have had their eyes dilated, so its a bit of cheating, if you ask me. I mean, even I can do a proper eye exam if i dilate the patient’s eyes. but i can’t do that, do I?
Q: What connects Shakespeare, Sammy Davies Junior and Nick Griffin?
A: Artificial eyes, as featured in this Image of the Week. Shakespeare wrote of them in King Lear – “get thee glass eyes; and, like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not” – whilst the other two either wore or wear one. And as this photograph shows, artificial eyes come in all different shapes, sizes, and colours.
Artificial eyes have a fascinating history – and one which reflects changes in their purpose and design.
To select just three points on this journey:
Egyptian mummies were frequently given artificial eyes, often made from plaster-filled bronze, and the purpose of them was to allow the dead to see once in their next life.
Glass eyes. We don’t know a precise date when these emerged. However, given Shakespeare’s reference to them it seems likely they were about from at…
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