Ah, eyelashes…those feathery little fins on our eyelids that help us lure in suitors and add character to our faces. What can be said about these flirty little frames? They definitely serve more of a purpose than simply giving us a decadent stare, but what are they really for?
If you’ve ever had a really good workout, you know how much you can sweat once your heart gets going. It’s good to sweat; it helps remove toxins from our bodies and makes skin glow and glisten thanks to increased circulation. Many people would agree that the best part of a workout is when you finally reach the point of having sweat trickle down your forehead. Now imagine your bliss turning to pain as that salty sweat leaks into your eyes. Feels like burning, no? Eyelashes prevent this from being a regularity that humans have to put up with. Lashes keep this and other liquids like rain from getting into our eyes and clouding our vision, or worse yet, burning them.
When you’re about to poke your eye out, the nerve endings in your eyelids pick up small signals from your lashes that alert you to the possibility of incurring an eye injury. This is useful when you’re in darker light and even in the daytime. Think back to the last time you accidentally poked yourself in the eye with a mascara brush or a misguided finger. You may have noticed that your eye instinctively shut just in time to avoid being punctured or scratched. Your eyelashes deserve the credit for that save too.
Teeny Tiny Shutters
Probably the most useful of functions eyelashes provide is their ability to keep dirt, dust, and debris from our environment out while allowing air in. Particulate matter can get caught up in our lashes, helping to keep eyes from becoming dry and irritated. This is exceptionally important as it prevents the lenses of our eyes from getting scratched should we rub our eye after a larger particle of dust settles on the its surface. Because this part of our body is so delicate, an inconsequential, almost microscopic piece of dirt or lint can damage our eyes more than we expect, landing one in the optometrist’s office for medicated eye drops and a sweet looking patch.
As you can plainly see, eyelashes are a very important but seemingly simple part of our anatomy that keep our eyesight healthier for much longer and protect us from suffering from recurring eye injuries. Who would’ve thought they were so important?