The fine hairs that grow at the eyelid perform several functions. Even though they are often regarded as an emphasis of beauty, their primary function is to protect the eyes from small particles such as dust, sand or debris from entering and harming the eye.
Their secondary function is to provide a danger warning. Highly sensitive to touch, they provide a warning that an object may be too close to the eye. In this regard, they perform a similar function to whiskers on many animals, including cats and dogs. So, you can think of the eyelashes as the protective ‘gatekeeper’ of the eye.
The eyelashes of the embryo develop between the 22nd and 26th week of pregnancy. Later in life, they can take around 7 to 8 weeks to grow back if they are pulled out.
While eyelashes may seem to be less complex than the eye itself, there are a number of health problems associated with eyelashes.
We may take eyelashes for granted, but they are very important for the proper function of the eye. So, the next time you put mascara on or stare in the mirror, give a thought to these fluttering little wonders.
IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.