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Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)


The Eye

Of all the sense organs--eye, ear, nose, body, mouth-- the human body possesses, vision appears the most precious. The eyes, develop early in the fetus' life, as two bubbles protruding from the brain and connected to it by a stalk which becomes the optic nerve and which, accompanied by an artery and vein, pierces the eyeball which had been differentiated into layers of cells lining the cavity of this bubble or ball. When, during my medical studies, I looked for the first time into the interior of the I eye with an ophthalmoscope, a rather primitive instrument at that time in comparison with the latest instruments today, I was fascinated by the sight, and this fascination remained with me throughout my long career as an ophthalmologist. It appeared to me like a miniature landscape against a background of pink, brownish or almost ivory color, as if I were looking down on a treetop with many branches, dividing up into smaller and smaller twigs or arterioles and veins. The human eye is poorly designed in comparison to the eye of a bird: we speak of "eagle --eyed vision." But with the use of our visual organ man has conquered many secrets of the universe. However, one thing the eye cannot do, it cannot express emotion. We speak of sad eyes, happy eyes, angry eyes, and so forth, but it is not the eyeball that can express feelings. It is due to the formation around the eyes, the lids, the eyebrows, the formation of wrinkles in the surrounding tissue and forehead.

Eyes still are of the greatest interest to me. Helping a person to see and to give back vision is the greatest satisfaction I experienced in my life.

 


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