Dynamics of the Human Blink
In addition to providing mechanical protection for the cornea and globe, the blinking action of the eyelids serves the crucial function of maintaining the thin tear film layer over the anterior surface of the eye. This must be accomplished on a regular, periodic basis, since evaporative action rapidly destroys the continuity of this 6 to 10 micron thick fluid layer. Thus, the lids must blink at least several times each minute in order to prevent the formation of “dryspots” on the corneal surface. If persistent, such dry areas will result in damage to the corneal surface, such as is seen in cases of exposure keratitis (Andrews, 1973; Holly, 1973a, 1973b; Holly and Lemp, 1977).
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