How to Protect Your Eyes and Keep Them Amazing - Smart Vision Labs

Do you work as hard as your body does to protect your eyes?

Your body “knows” how much you rely on your eyes and vision. It does too. The eyes are what collect much of the information your brain uses to process ideas and respond to your world. Because of their importance, the eyes are protected by many defense mechanisms which the body uses to keep them both safe and in good working order.

Natural Protection

Only about one-sixth of the eyes are visible. The rest of them are protected by the skull. Although the part we can see is more of an almond shape, the full structure of the eye is shaped closer to a sphere, or a ball. The eyeball sits in a protective “cup” of bone called the eye socket or orbit. In addition to housing most of the eyeball, the eye socket also protects the rest of the structures the eye needs to function, like nerves to transmit information, muscles to move, and blood vessels to nourish.

Obviously, in order to see, some of your eye needs to be exposed. Even though this part of the eye lacks a casing of skeleton, it is better protected than it might appear.

Eyelashes and Eyebrows

The rest of your eyes’ physical protection comes from two things associated more with appearance than defense: eyelashes and eyebrows. While you may be waxing your brows or putting on mascara to enhance your style, both are working to keep things out of your eyes.

As eyelashes are right next to the eyes they’re protecting, they have quite a few functions. They can act as sensors to make you shut your eyes if something gets too near, reacting like your pet’s whiskers. Did you ever wonder why you instinctively squint when looking at bright light? Your eyelashes work a bit like blinds in a window to darken the view so you can see better. They act like a brush for airborne particles, sweeping dirt and dust out and away from your eyes. This works for water as well – the crescent shape allows liquids to slide along the eyelash and away from the eye itself.

That last one is a primary function of the eyebrows. Like eyelashes, their slightly curved shape redirects water on your face, like rain or sweat, away from your eyes.

Sometimes things do get by these barriers and manage to poke us in the eye (and, ironically, it’s usually an eyelash). For this case, there are tears. These work to flush the object out of your eye and also clean up any bacteria left behind. If that eyelash is really stuck, it’s better to help your eyes wash the object out with water or eye drops instead of rubbing them (which just irritates them more).

Your Part?

But even with all these means the body has to protect your eyes, it still needs your help. Despite the mechanisms your body has to protect your eyes, it can’t do much about decreasing vision quality or eye health issues.

Vision exams will alert you to changes in your sight which may have developed so gradually you didn’t notice them. Corrective eyewear with a current prescription will allow your eyes to do their job without struggling causing you eye strain. If you wear contact lenses, clean and replace them as recommended and take them out at night to sleep. This helps to prevent irritation as well as stops bacteria from collecting on the lenses. Sunglasses (especially when outdoors around midday) will protect your eyes from damaging and dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Your body works hard to keep your eyes safe and healthy. Are you doing your part to help?

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