You can think of your eye lashes as being an extension of your eyes and they are extremely important to us not only for improving our appearance. People’s eye lashes vary in length greatly and men are just as likely as women to have long curly eye lashes and that is without having to enhance them! The main function of our eye lashes is to provide protection to our eyes from the environment. They are extremely sensitive to touch and till trigger the eye to close (reflex) if they detect anything coming towards them.
Below are my top 5 weird and wonderful facts you probably never knew about your eye lashes:
- Speed of growth: Compared to the hairs on our head, eyelashes grow extremely slowly. To reach full length, an eye lash will take at least 3 months to grow and this may longer if you have an unhealthy life-style which includes smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. The hairs on our head would reach the equivalent length in a third of the time after about one month.
- Losing eye lashes: Although the eye lashes take a lot longer to grow then hairs on the rest of our body, we typically keep them for a much longer period of time. We regularly replace the hairs on our head in a natural ‘malting type’ cycle but this is much less frequent with our eye lashes. The average lifespan of an eye lash is around 200 days after which time it naturally falls out and is replaced by another one!
- What are eye lashes made from? Our eye lashes are made up of around 4% water and 96% of a protein called Keratin. This is why not drinking sufficient water can affect the appearance of our eye lashes.
- What determines the colour? Part of the actual eye lash contains a combination of different coloured pigments. The combination of these pigments is what gives your eye lashes their colour and tone.
- How many eye lashes do we have? This will vary from one individual to another as will the thickness of the eye lashes. The average person will have around 170 eye lashes on the upper eye lid and around 100 eye lashes on the lower eye lid.
- And finally a bonus fact to make you cringe! Eye lash mites: 99% of all adults with share their eye lash roots with a worm like mite measuring about half a millimetre in size! If you have oily skin and use a lot of eye makeup you are likely to have a greater number of these. They are thankfully harmless and there is nothing you need to do about them!
And now for some facts about your eyes:
- You see with your brain! People don’t realise this but it is actually your brain that you see with and not your eyes. The function of the eye is to gather all the information about the object you are looking at such as its colour and contrast. This information is then sent via your optic nerve to your brain where it is processed for seeing.
- Over one millions different parts: The eye has over one million different parts which all have to be working in tandem to give you perfect vision.
- We are always born colour blind: When we are born we are unable to see colours at all. This colour recognition develops over the first few months of our lives.
- Everyone needs reading glasses as they get older: Regardless of your sex or ethnicity, you are guaranteed to need reading glasses as you get over the age of 45 years old. This is because the lens in your eye that is needed for near focusing begins to lose its power from this age.
- Colour blindness only affects men: Although this is strictly not true, 99% of all colour vision problems affects males. The reason for this is due to the fact the defective gene is carried only on the male chromosome. This can help explain some men’s poor fashion sense!
This article was provided by our guest Optometrist Tim, who specialises in all things related to eyes and vision. Tim also writes for his own website TreatmentSaver.com which provides detailed information on laser eye surgery including a laser eye surgery forum and laser eye surgery guides.