274 words | 2 mintue read | Flesch–Kincaid readability score: Grade 5

How many times do you blink in a minute? Weird, who knows! Well, mostly people blink around 15 times a minute (Reader’s Digest – Why in the World).

Blinking is an involuntary action that protects the eye. Most of our eye is enclosed in a bony socket covered with a layer of fat, which forms a protective cover. But when the eyes are open, one-tenth of the total surface area is exposed to the atmosphere. This means the eye, the most delicate and sensitive part of the body, has to withstand the dust present in the air.

Why do we Blink?
Why do we Blink? [Illustration by Anup Singh]

So, what do the eyes do as a safeguard mechanism? They blink. Blinking helps in two ways. It lubricates the eyes and keeps the front portion clear for good vision. When we blink, a film of tears covers the eyes and washes all the minute dust particles that may be present.

That is the physiological reason behind blinking but we blink for psychological reasons as well. For instance, nervousness, loud noises, stress and tension affect the number of times we blink. You can even try it out yourself. Count the number of times you blink when you do something wrong. The tension would probably make you blink more.

But a driver using all his concentration powers, to manoeuvre his way through a crowded street, will probably blink less. The effort to concentrate on the task ahead will make him blink a fewer number of times.

Observe people around to see who blinks how many times in what surroundings. It sure can be fun.