One of the most amazing organs of our body is the eyes. Obviously, our eyes let us see and appreciate the world around us. Without the eyes, our level of functioning would greatly diminish. Apart from the physiologic functions of the eyes, they also serve aesthetic purposes. Many people will take a great deal of time and effort just to make their eyes more attractive. Maybe, this is the only time when a person notices his or her eyelashes. While this might be the case, the eyelashes serve other functions—ones that we often took for granted.
Say Hello To Your Pal, The Eyelash
The eyelashes are the hairs that are located at the edge of the eyelids. Humans are not the only ones who have eyelashes. Other animals, especially mammals, have eyelashes to serve various purposes. The eyelashes can grow as long as one inch. Normally, an embryo in the womb of a mother will start to grow eyelashes during the 22nd to 26th week of gestation. According to a study, the eyelashes will take about seven to eight weeks to grow back if pulled out. The color of the eyelashes tends to imitate the color of the hair but for people who have dark hair, their eyelashes are darker. The same goes with people who have light hair color and vice versa for those with very light hair.
What The Eyelashes Do
The functions of the eyelashes are more on protection of the eyes. The eye is considered to be an extension of the brain, though few people realize this. The eyes are delicate and fragile. They need all the protection that they can get. The eyelash is just one of the other structures that protect the eyes. Along with the eyebrow, tears and orbital bones, the eyelash protects the eye from many external harmful elements.
The eyelashes defend the eyes from foreign materials, small particles, excessive sunlight and sweat. They are also sensitive. They send signals to the brain that something is getting close to the eyes. The blink reflex will then set in to evade an in-coming particle. Since our eyes should remain moist, the eyelash filters and distributes the light of the sun evenly throughout the eye. The eyelashes also decrease the heat impact of sunlight to the eyes and help with light accommodation.
Another function of the eyelashes is to serve as a warning sign of an actual disease process. People who lose their eyelashes might be showing a compromised level of immunity and slowed cell regeneration. Diseases or disorders that involve the eyelashes may include demodicid, sty (external hordeolum), trichiasis, distichiasis, trichotillomania, blepharitis, and madarosis.
The importance of the eyelashes should never be underestimated. They serve protective functions, as well as aesthetic purposes. It is not enough for us to know how vital eyelashes can be in the health of our eyes. We also should perform the necessary steps to take good care of them.