Content written by: Osuagwu Levi RO, RCLP
Content originally published in the Spring 2010 edition of The Eighth Line
This resource is followed by a quiz worth 1EC credit.
Blinking is a protective mechanism for the cornea and conjunctiva, serving to maintain a tear layer over the ocular surface that is necessary for epithelia health and optical performance1.
Discussing this topic has not only become necessary due to the effects of industrialisation in our societies which predisposes people to environmental and climatic conditions that could result to dry eye complaints but also due to the increasing number of contact lens wearers in the world. Complete blink among other things, helps to maintain a clean and wet anterior contact lens surface; causes debris to be swept into the inferior marginal tear strip allowing a cleaner tear layer to be distributed as the upper lid ascends; and maximizes the extent of distribution of tarsal goblet cell mucin. Forceful blinking can significantly increase lipid layer thickness provided the meibomian glands have adequate reservoir or secretion, and the gland orifices are not blocked with clusters of keratotic cells2.