According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eyelashes actually work as “human whiskers.” They have a few very important functions, such as keeping dust and debris out of the eyeball, and they also act as sensors and help you detect when something is getting very close to your eye, such as the whiskers do on your pet dog or cat.
Ivan Schwab, MD, professor of ophthalmology at University of California, Davis, notes that eyelashes are pretty unique when it comes to looking at the rest of the hair that resides on the human body. “Healthy lashes are believed to never go gray,” he said. “They are among the shortest hairs on the body with the longest lifespan. And the melanocytes (pigment cells) at the base of eyelash follicles rarely, if ever, become malignant.”
Eyelashes also help keep the eye itself moisturized by reducing tear evaporation by up to 50 percent. So yes, you still have to blink to keep your eye lubed up, but if you didn’t have eyelashes, you’d have to do it twice as often. Can you imagine?