What’s Up with Eyelashes?

At Central Valley we’re all about protecting your eyes. In that role, we have a helper right there on your eyelids that you probably didn’t realize provided that role — your eyelids.

In this second blog before summer when we can all see the end of this dopey coronavirus in sight, let’s lighten it up with a blog about your eyelashes and the role they play in the health of your eyes.

What are eyelashes?

Our eyelashes count in the five million or so total hairs on the human body. They’ve long been used by women to accentuate their eyes, usually through the application of mascara, which thickens eyelashes, making them more noticeable. Everyone wants to have longer eyelashes, but only some of us do. Batting our eyelashes has long been a tool for women to attract men, especially in cartoons and movies.

And we’re not the only ones who have them. Lots of other mammals have eyelashes. You can think back to many cartoons where the animals have flaunted their long eyelashes. Remember Lady in Lady and the Tramp? Dogs have eyelashes. Think about any horse you know. Check those eyelashes! Same for giraffes, kangaroos, llamas, camels, and even elephants. Various birds have them, as well, although they’re not the same as ours — bird eyelashes on hornbills, ostriches, and secretary birds are actually modified feathers.

But what do eyelashes do?

Eyelashes are anything but fashion accessories — they help to protect our eyes. There are many particles of dust and sand floating through the air, and they could get into our eyes and scratch our corneas. Eyelashes help to sweep these particles out of the way.

Eyelashes also help to keep moisture, like sweat or rain, out of our eyes. Their curved shape and the way they are positioned allow them to direct moisture away from our eyes.

They can also serve the function of, say, a cat’s whiskers. If something gets too close to our eyes, our eyelashes sense the proximity and alert us to shut our eyes or otherwise move our head.

Our eyelashes also work with our eyebrows and forehead to help shield our eyes from the sun.

Eyelashes are hair, so they follow the same growth, transition, and resting phases as all of our other hairs. Sometimes, when a person overdoes it with the eyelash curling tool, this can make eyelashes fall out. It can take a month to six weeks to grow back.

Now you know the important job your eyelashes play in keeping your eyes safe. They’re not a reason to weed whack without protective eyewear or to not wear sunglasses, but they’re friends of your peepers.

So are we at Central Valley Eye Medical Group. Is it time for your next eye exam? Call us at (800) 244-9907 to schedule your next appointment.

Posted in: Comprehensive Eye Exams

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