The Amazing Muscle Balance of the Human Eye
It seems simple enough for most of us to look left, look right, roll your eyes, look off at an angle... Have you ever considered the amazing process and synchronization of muscles that is actually taking place as you simply gaze off in a particular area?
The eye has six extraocular muscles that control movement. If you picture the eye as a sphere, 4 muscles pull or relax along the horizontal and vertical meridians. While the other two muscles work in a more angular fashion so you can look up and off at an angle.
The six muscles are:
- Medial rectus - only moves eye laterally towards the nose
- Lateral rectus - only moves eye laterally towards the ear
- Superior rectus - Up gaze, rotate towards nose, laterally towards nose
- Inferior rectus - Down gaze, rotate towards ear, laterally towards nose
- Superior oblique - rotate towards nose, down gaze, laterally towards ear
- Inferior oblique - rotate towards ear, up-gaze, laterally towards ear.
Sounds pretty straight forward? now consider that every time you look to the right, your right you moves towards your ear while the left eye moves towards your nose. It is almost an equal and opposite reaction to get the same results. Think of what has to happen when you roll your eyes off at an angle?
It's enough to make your eyes spin... pardon the pun.