Blinking has worked its way into the vernacular in a number of ways, from something occurring “in the blink of an eye,” to an out-of-commision refrigerator being “on the blink.” Some theorize that blinking too much may be a sign that a person’s being less than truthful.
But how many of us understand what’s actually happening when we blink our eyes, which we do roughly 1,000 times an hour? Our optometrist at Greenpoint Vision Care specializes in caring for your eyes, from testing your vision, to examining, diagnosing and treating disorders. We’re glad to explain this often referenced, but perhaps somewhat mysterious process.
Blinking is a function that serves a host of vital purposes. It protects the eyes from infection by providing lubrication, nutrients and oxygen, washes away debris such as dust, dried tears and other tiny particles, and gives the brain a brief rest.
If we don’t blink frequently enough, it can cause the cornea — the transparent, protective outside part of the eye — to swell because of the lack of oxygen. Our eyes can become dry and our vision blurry. Without the cleansing function blinking supplies, the risk of infection increases.
Conversely, blinking too often, in addition to being annoying, can be triggered by irritation, a scratched cornea, eye strain, anxiety, or just plain habit.
If you’ve experienced a persistent change in blinking frequency accompanied by redness, burning, swelling, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or discharge, it may signal an infection or a more serious underlying condition. We recommend scheduling a visit to our office for an examination.
Your eyesight is precious, and regular visits to our optometrist at Greenpoint Vision Care is the best way to protect your vision and maintain healthy eyes. Our practice provides a comprehensive examination to diagnose and treat conditions that can affect the way you see the world. We’ll look for changes in your vision and prescribe corrective lenses if necessary. Please contact us today for an appointment!