What Literally Happens in the Blink of an Eye

Without even thinking about it, you’re blinking about 15-20 times per minute which is about 1,200 times per hour. So, why do we blink? Blinking is necessary for healthy vision for two main reasons: clearing away debris and lubricating the eye. 

Why Do We Blink? 

Blinking cleans and renews your tear film, the smooth, moist layer covering your eyeballs. Your tears and tear film are made up of mucus, oil, and water. The tear film also contains amino acids and nutrients that nourish the cells in the cornea, which is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. 

Besides keeping your eyes lubricated, tear film also helps to:

  • Wash away debris 
  • Transfer oxygen to the cornea
  • Prevent infection due to the presence of lysosomes and other antibacterial enzymes 
  • Form a smooth optical surface on top of the cornea so light can focus properly
  • Provide a direct pathway for white blood cells when there’s a tear in the surface 

Blinking to Avoid Digital Eye Strain 

Blinking is especially important when you’re using a screen for an extended period of time. When you’re working on a screen, your blinking per minute gradually decreases and your eyes stop being properly lubricated and cleaned. It’s important to remember to blink every 10 to 15 seconds as you’re working so your vision stays sharp and your eyes don’t feel strained. Read our blog on digital eye strain for more ways to keep your eyes healthy. 

Blinking and Your Brain 

Some research suggests that we might blink to give our brains a mental rest without any visual stimuli. One study found that the exact moments we blink might not be random. For example, when people read, they often blink at the end of a sentence and when they watch a video, they blink when the action lags for a moment. Researchers also discovered that when people blink, mental activity spikes in areas of the brain that function when the mind is in a state of rest. 

Eyes are the way we see the people we love, so it’s important to keep them healthy, clean, and safe. Read our blog, but don’t forget to blink! 

Schedule an Appointment with Complete Eye Care 

At Complete Eye Care of Medina, we value your family’s health, and together we can treat your family’s vision problems. Let’s work together and find ways to keep your vision healthy. Schedule an appointment by calling us today at 763-225-3859 or visiting us online at completeeyecareofmedina.com