The human eye manifests marked alterations in many of its functions when the supply of oxygen is inadequate. In fact, all the organs of the body are affected by variations in the tension of oxygen or of carbon dioxide, although certain ones appear to be more sensitive than others. The brain, for example, is more sensitive to anoxia than the smooth muscles, and the cortex appears to be more sensitive than other portions of the brain. It has been demonstrated in animals by Heymans and Bouckaert (1935) and others that cortical tissue does not recover its function if it is deprived of oxygen for more than five to eight minutes. In certain other parts of the brain and spinal cord irreversible changes do not occur for periods as long as twenty to thirty minutes. Smooth muscle can apparently go without oxygen for hours and still survive. One might
McFARLAND RA, EVANS JN, HALPERIN MH. OPHTHALMIC ASPECTS OF ACUTE OXYGEN DEFICIENCY. Arch Ophthalmol. 1941;26(5):886–913. doi:10.1001/archopht.1941.00870170178013
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