What Protects Our Eyes?


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There are several mechanisms designed to protect our eyes from external damages and pathogens. First is the conjunctiva, a thin, clear membrane covering the front of the eye and inner eyelids. Cells in conjunctiva produce a mucous that helps to lubricate the eye.

Our eyelashes and eyebrows are specialized hairs to protect the eyes from particles that may injure them. Anything touching them triggers the eyelids to blink. Our eyelids protect and lubricate our eyes.

Small oil-producing glands line the inner edge of our eyelids. These oils mix with tears when we blink, keeping the eye moist and clean. The orbit or eye socket is a cone-shaped bony cavity that protects the eye. The socket is padded with fatty tissue that allows the eye to move easily. The Lacrimal Gland continually releases tears and other protective fluids onto the surface of the eye to keep the cornea from becoming dehydrated.

The iris helps protect the sensitive retina by opening and closing the pupil, in response to the brightness of surrounding light. Finally, there is sclera, the white, tough wall of the eye. It along with internal fluid pressure keeps the eye shape and protects its delicate internal parts.

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