Your Eyes Have Their Own Microbiome. Here’s What You Need To Do To Take Care Of It
by: Sam Berne, O.D.
One of the most important advances in our knowledge of human health is the discovery and understanding of the microbiome. The microbiome is a community of healthy bacteria, viruses, archaea, and eukaryotic microbes that live on our skin and inside our body. Given its role in our immune and nervous systems, our skin, and every other major bodily system, you should expect this body of research to continue to balloon in the coming years.
However, one thing has already become apparent: Our lifestyle is a big contributor to the health of our microbiome. And everything we do—from the food we eat to the amount of sleep we get—affects the health of the microbiome almost immediately. Sadly, many of our diets are suboptimal, and we are exposed to an increasing amount of stress in our daily lives.
Meet the bacteria living in (and protecting) your eyes.
Researchers are continuing to find new and exciting ways that the microbiome affects overall wellness and disease prevention. In fact, recently, researchers out of Yale University found that there is a diverse microbiome in your eye! To name just a few of the organisms, the ocular microbiome includes Pseudomonas, Corynebacterium, Acinetobacter, Staphylococci, Streptococcus, Streptophyta, and Methylobacterium. The researchers concluded that “evidence strongly suggests that the homeostatic microbiome plays a protective role in preventing colonization of pathogenic species.” In other words, just like in your gut, the beneficial bacteria in your eyes prevent infection by harmful germs.
In addition, researchers found that the strongest evidence of a diverse and complex microbiome in the eye is in the conjunctiva and cornea (the conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye, and the cornea is the clear protective outer layer of the eye). The role of the microbiome is to enhance the metabolic and immune functions that help ward off pathogens within the body’s systems, so it makes sense that the parts of the eye responsible for protecting the eye from outside pathogens have the most abundant microbiome…..
Source: mbg health