Eye Pain – Why It’s so Intense

Vision is an incredibly important sense when it relates to the survival of an organism.  Throughout evolution, we’ve used vision for everything from steering clear of predators to choosing the right mate to propagate our genes.  Due to the importance of this sense, the eye evolved a way of protecting itself by developing a keen sense of when it was about to be invaded or traumatized.  This keen sense is eye pain and pain can be so intense in the eye because the front surface of the eye, or cornea, has the most nerve innervation of any tissue in the body.  More pain sensing nerves = more sensitivity.

These nerves are connected to other nerves that are stimulated when something gets close to or enters the eye. The other nerves enable forced eye closure so the eyelid protects the surface from the object headed toward the eye, elevation of the eye under the closed eyelid, so that the optically clear front surface won’t be damaged if the object headed towards the eye is able to get through the closed lid (as the eye elevates, the clear cornea becomes protected by the eye brow bone as well as the lids), and tearing, which washes out any debris that might lead to damage or infection of the cornea.  The eye protective mechanism is quite complex and a beautiful example of the benefits evolution has provided us with for protection of our most valuable sense.

Courtesy of the doctors of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians serving the Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington DC for over 40 years.  For more information visit our website youreyesite.com

Connect with us on twitter @EyeInfo

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One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dr. Alan Glazier, Centro Carriazo. Centro Carriazo said: RT @EyeInfo: Eye Pain – Why It's so Intense: http://wp.me/pxAmm-wc […]

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