The reason why we have eyelashes

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Like everyone eyelashes can either be a curse or a blessing; sometimes you receive compliments if your eyelashes are long, full and healthy other times you spend way too much time in the bathroom trying to flush a fallen eyelash out of your eye. So this begs the question: why do we have eyelashes?

Well, this all started long ago before our ancestors discovered fire and tools. Prehistoric human beings were covered in a lot more hair than we are now in order to protect themselves from the harsh environment. But due to the passage of time, modern humans have lost much of the body hair that we used to possess, only our eyelashes and eyebrows remain.

While eyelashes can be amazing do they serve any other purpose beyond sometimes getting in our eye? Ophthalmologists may have the answer to this one. According to them, there are only a few functional reasons why our eyelashes remain and hang out around our eyes, despite falling out on random occasions.

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Eyelashes have a use

The American Academy of Opthalmology has an answer for this, according to them eyelashes are a protective measure that works like “human whiskers.” If you take this to mean that we’re closer to our feline companions more so than you thought, you’re wrong. That simply means that eyelashes just have a few important tasks that protect us more than anyone realized. They keep out dust and debris from entering the eyeball, plus they also act like sensors that alert you when a foreign material gets to close to your eye. Pretty much, they function the same way that a dog’s or cat’s whiskers do.

A professor of Ophatmology at the University of California, Ivan Schwab, MD, points out that eyelashes are pretty unique to humans. Especially when it comes to taking in the rest of the hair that covers the human body. Ivan Schwab had this to say about eyelashes, “healthy lashes are believed to never go gray,” he articulated. “They are among the shortest hairs on the body with the longest lifespan. And the melanocytes (the pigment cells) at the base of the eyelash follicles rarely, if ever, become malignant.”

So to sum all of what Ivan Schwab said up: your eyelashes are more precious and powerful than you could ever believe. They’re the healthiest hair you can find on your body aside from the hair on your head as they come with a few ancestral benefits that we never lost over time. Not only do the cells that allow them to keep their color never stop working, but that means your eyelashes will never go gray like any of the other hair on your body! Isn’t that a cool feature!

Another benefit to eyelashes is that they keep the eye moisturized by reducing tear evaporation whenever we cry. And they do this up to 50%. So this means whenever you blink your eyelashes are keeping your eyes moist. Eyelashes do more than we thought.