Why Do We Need to Blink Many Times a Day?
Many of us in our younger years have been in a staring contest. Remember how difficult it was to keep your eyes open for such a long time? Eye doctors tell us it is because of our natural instinct to blink. However, what are the reasons behind our need to blink?
Apparently, there are two main reasons for blinking. First of all, blinking clears away particles from the eyes. For instance, if there is a foreign body in the eye, it helps to remove it. Sometimes particles get under the eyelid or else something blew in. Also, this can feel very painful since there are many nerve endings in the cornea.
Secondly, blinking helps to lubricate the eyeballs. The eyes need a smooth surface for light to correctly focus on, so vision doesn’t get blurry. Bling brings out a tear film, which usually consists of water, mucus, and oil to maintain a smooth eyeball surface. Also, it prevents the eye from drying out which can feel uncomfortable. Typically, when your eye has a large area of dryness, it kind of feels like a scratch on your cornea, the eye’s outer protective layer.
Secondly, blinking lubricates the eyeballs. The eyes require a smooth surface for light to focus properly, so you don’t have blurry. Blinking releases a tear film — which mostly includes water, oil, and mucus — to maintain a smooth eyeball surface. Also, it stops the eye from drying out, which can be uncomfortable. When there is a large area of dryness, it feels similar to a scratch on the cornea, – the eye’s outer protective layer. This can be very distressing since there are many nerve endings in the cornea.
Why Is Blinking So Important?
Our eyes have to blink several times every minute, but do you completely understand why it’s so critical for optimal eye health?
You can time yourself for a minute and notice how many times you blink. On average, adults blink between ten and twenty times per minute, with each blink lasting a tenth of a second.
When We Blink, Our Eyes Get Cleaned And Refreshed
Each time our eyes blink, they spread fresh layers of tears throughout the eyes’ surface, preventing them from drying out and removing small irritants such as dirt and dust particles that could obstruct vision. When the eyes have too much moisture, the excess tears drain out through the very small holes at the corners of the eyes (the tear ducts) and down into the nasal passages. So, if you have ever asked yourself why your nose usually runs when you cry, now you understand its cause!
We Usually Blink Less When Focusing
Occasionally, when we are fixating on something such as a game, book, project, or TV show, the eyes usually blink less than usual. As a matter of fact, as little as three times per minute. That’s a lot lower than the healthy rate of blinking our eyes depends on carrying out their job effectively. If the eyes go a long time with less than normal blinking, it risks dry eye or eye strain.
Make Blinking More A Habit
Sometimes not blinking enough can lead to eye issues, especially when you’re doing something that needs you to focus. So, try to make a conscious effort to blink more. If you work on it continuously, you can train your eyes to blink a lot more out of habit. To force yourself into the habit of blinking more, you could even set reminders to do blinking exercises every hour. You will soon find that you won’t need reminders anymore. An excellent, simple exercise to help maintain fresh feeling eyes is to close them, wait a moment, squeeze your eyelids, and then open them again.
The Systems Behind Blinking
Although blinking seems to be a very simple thing to do, it needs a lot of various mechanisms working together harmoniously in our eyes and eyelids, including different types of tear production, tiny glands making oil to refill the film that prevents our tears from drying out, and many assorted sets of muscles to carry out the physical movement of blinking. Several things can go haywire when there are so many moving parts. If you have dry eyes or eye strain and blinking exercises are not doing it for you, talk to your eye doctor at Excel laser Vision Institute!
How To Blink Your Eyes
Yes, indeed, there is the right way to blink your eyes! As you know by now, the purpose of blinking is to refresh your eyes by moistening them with protein-rich nutrients, cleaning them of any foreign objects, and giving them the much-needed lubricant they require. This may sound like a lot to ask from just one blink, but those are the advantages of this straightforward action.
To blink correctly and efficiently two factors have to happen: closing the eyes completely for a short moment and using the correct eye muscles.
The muscles that are used for blinking are situated above the eyes. To ensure you are using these muscles instead of facial muscles, place your fingers at the corners of your eyes by the temples. Close your eyes. You should not sense any movement under your fingers if you used your eye muscles.
Once you close your eyes, pause. This step is vital since if you want the blink to be effective, the eyes have to be completely closed. You can quickly test this by placing a finger under your eye, just above the cheekbone. When you close your eyes, you should sense your upper eyelashes touch your finger.
Advantages Of Blinking
When you become an expert on the blink technique, you are set to get the perks. During the blink, protein-rich moisture coats your eyes, providing them with essential nutrients. Also, this liquid cleans the eyes, getting rid of any dirt or debris. Plus, an oily substance is discharged, which helps prevent moisture from evaporating too rapidly while also lubricating the eyelids to stop chaffing.
How does all this happen? When we blink, we squeeze the glands in the eyes that create these liquids. Therefore, nourishment, cleansing, and oily lubrication are common results of the glands releasing this needed tear film. However, it only occurs when the eyes are completely closed in a full blink.
Blink More And Properly
No doubt, you now know that the blink has tons of benefits, but unfortunately, you may not be receiving the complete blink treatment. Most of the blame is placed on our digital devices, and although research has revealed that many of us blink about the same number of times when reading on the computer screen or from printed material. However, the difference is how they blink.
Many people had incomplete blinks while reading from a computer monitor. This can bring about eye strain and fatigue just because the eyes are not receiving the nourishment and cleansing linked with a blink.
In a perfect world, a person should blink their eyes around fifteen or thirty times per minute, and the blinks should be as soft as butterfly wings opening and closing. When you become more self-conscious of how often you blink, your thoughts will become a subconscious habit that helps your eyes.
So, make each blink matter. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Blink your eyes regularly. Place a “Blink More” note on your computer to help you remember. Digital eye strain is becoming very common and can be simply rectified with regular blinking.
Practice a complete blink. You can blink naturally and correctly when you know what a full blink feels like.
Close your eyes for a short moment now and then when reading or on the computer. This will not only give you the advantage of a blink but will provide your eyes with a quick rest.
So much good can happen in the blink of an eye, but you have to be conscious of when and how you blink your eyes to get the full benefits.
Causes and Symptoms of Glaucoma
On average, the eye doctors tell us that about three million Americans have glaucoma, however, only half of them know it.
Unfortunately, glaucoma is an eye disease that eye doctors at the best laser eye surgery orange county don’t take lightly because it’s the second leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the world. The two most common forms of glaucoma that patients have are Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma and Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve. While this nerve slowly deteriorates, blind spots appear in a person’s visual field. The medical community still doesn’t understand why the optic nerve becomes damaged, but it could be related to increased pressure in the eye.
Elevated eye pressure usually comes about because of the accumulation of fluid, known as aqueous humor, that moves throughout the inside of the eye. This internal fluid usually drains out by way of a tissue called the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea come together. When too much fluid is produced or the drainage system doesn’t work correctly, the fluid can’t move at its normal pace, and eye pressure increases.
Typically, glaucoma runs in families. Also, scientists have been able to find genes in some people that are related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage.
What Are The Symptoms of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma?
The eye doctors usually call open-angle glaucoma “the silent thief of sight” since it has no symptoms until permanent vision loss has happened. Symptoms in advanced stages of the disease consist of the following::
Progressive loss of peripheral vision, usually in both eyes
Blank spots in the person’s field of vision
Tunnel vision in the advanced stages
Regular eye exams are critical to detect this type of glaucoma early enough to successfully treat the condition and prevent further loss.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
An angle-closure glaucoma is an uncommon form of glaucoma, which develops very rapidly and requires immediate medical attention.
It’s the complete opposite of open-angle glaucoma since the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are very noticeable and damage happens quickly. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate care:
Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light
Nausea and vomiting (accompanying the severe eye pain)
Halos around lights
Reddening of the eye
Who Is At High Risk At Developing Glaucoma?
On account of the fact that chronic forms of glaucoma can harm a person’s vision before any signs or symptoms are noticeable, take a look at this list of higher risk factors:
Age – If you are over 40
Elevated intraocular (internal) eye pressure
Family history of glaucoma
Ethnic background – African Americans, Asians, and Japanese have a higher risk
Long-term corticosteroid use
Medical conditions – Such as diabetes or high blood pressure
All About The Eye Condition Known As Heterochromia
On average, many patients admit that the first thing they notice about a person when they first meet them is their eye color. An alluring pair of eyes can make a lasting impression, but the most memorable are most likely the ones that are not the same.
The scientific term that refers to mismatched eye colors is heterochromia. Typically, a vet sees heterochromia in cats and dogs, but it happens in only three out of every five hundred people. Also, the eye doctors tell us that there are a few various causes and types of heterochromia.
What Are The Different Types Of Heterochromia?
Well-known examples of heterochromia are Alice Eve and Josh Henderson, who each have one green eye and one blue eye. Both of them have completely mismatched irises, regularly called complete heterochromia or heterochromia iridium. Additionally, it’s possible to have a patch of different color in one iris, which is called segmental heterochromia or heterochromia iridis. One good example of a person with this condition is Henry Cavill since his eyes are blue but he has a patch of brown in his left iris.
More frequent than either of these types is central heterochromia, which means the irises match each other, however, there’s a ring of a different color surrounding the pupils. For instance, Olivia Wilde has blue eyes with rings of brown around the center. It may not stick out the same way as the asymmetrical types of heterochromia but the impact is very extraordinary.
What Causes Heterochromia?
In many occurrences, heterochromia is a harmless genetic mutation that influences the way pigment forms in a person’s irises, but it can also come about after an injury or a disease later in life. For instance, Mila Kunis has heterochromia after a prolonged inflammation in one of her irises, but the most famous instance was David Bowie.
When Bowie was fifteen years old, he got into a fistfight with a good friend over a girl they both liked. Bowie got a punch to his left eye which permanently paralyzed the iris, resulting in anisocoria, or uneven pupils, for his entire life. Everyone thought his eye were different colors, but they weren’t. They just seemed different since the left eye was fully dilated while the right eye wasn’t.
What Does Folklore Say About Heterochromia?
Many different cultures have had different beliefs and traditions revolving around contrasting eyes. For instance, Eastern European pagans believed mismatched eyes were witch eyes, while many Native American cultures thought they were ghost eyes that gave the person the ability to see into heaven and earth. Nowadays, when we see a person with heterochromia we just think they have amazing and unique eyes.
Visit Excel Laser Vision Institute If Your Eyes Match, Or Not!
It’s probably very unlikely you will get heterochromia because of injury or disease if you weren’t born with it, but it is always a good idea to bring any changes you notice about your eyesight to our eye care team.