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Eye Hygiene for Better Eye Health

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Posted in Blepharitis, Dry Eye, Dry Eye Diagnosis, Lid Hygiene

Eye Hygiene for Better Eye Health

Good eyelid hygiene is important to maintain healthy eyes. If you have poor eyelid hygiene, your eyes will become itchy, inflamed and dry. This condition is known as blepharitis. In chronic cases, you may experience severe dryness, infections, styes and chalazion. Maintaining good eyelid hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your eyes. Just like oral hygiene, you need to have a strong preventative approach to maintain healthy eyes. 

What is Good Eyelid Hygiene?

Good eyelid hygiene can prevent future bacterial infections, severe dryness and chronic red eyes.  Caring for your eyelid hygiene results in clean eyelids that look and feel healthy. This means that your eyes will be:

  1. Free of bacteria and debris (biofilm), infections, styes, and chalazia
  2. Clear and white
  3. Free of itchiness and dryness
  4. Free of chronic inflammation

Most people are familiar with the concept of healthy oral hygiene and its constant maintenance between the dentist and at-home care. The key is prevention by brushing, flossing and yearly visits to the dentist. 

This same concept is practiced and applied to eyelid hygiene – at all ages. You should have yearly visits with your optometrist so they can examine for the presence of inflammation and biofilm on your eyes and eyelids. It’s also vital to maintain this level of eyelid hygiene hygiene at home with proper eyelid wipes and cleansers. 

Why Good Eyelid Hygiene is Important

Daily preventative care of cleaning your eyelids will help stop future eye problems before they progress into something more serious. Here are examples of severe consequences of poor eyelid hygiene:

  1. Blepharitis: Inflammation of the eyelid margins causing them to be red, inflamed, crusty and itchy
  2. Dry Eye: Unhealthy tears due to imbalance of water, oil and/or protein 
  3. Styes: Bacterial infection of the meibomian gland
  4. Chalazion: Non-infectious blocked meibomian gland
  5. Infectious Conjunctivitis : Inflammation of the conjunctiva tissue caused by a bacterial infection

Start Good Eyelid Hygiene Habits Early

Start teaching kids early to focus on the importance of cleaning their eyelids. It should be a priority at an early age so proper eyelid hygiene becomes a long-term habit for better eye health. You can teach eyelid hygiene to kids at an early age by:

  1. Using eye-friendly and eye doctor recommended lid wipes to clean upper eyelids, lower eyelids and the entire eye closed
  2. Letting your kids watch you or other family members clean their eyelids and show them how to clean their own eyes

Our kid-friendly recommendations for eyelid products that are gentle, but effective are Blephaclean, iLid ‘N Lash or BIHOCl. You can read our previous blog about other eyelid wipes that are found in the doctor’s cabinet.

How to Practice Good Eyelid Hygiene

  1. Daily cleaning of upper eyelids, lower eyelids and the entire eye closed
Source: Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust City Road, London EC1V 2PD; Author: Miss Emily Cabourne, specialty registrar. Illustrator: Dr Caroline Kilduf
  1. Removing eye makeup before bed and replace eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow every 3 months
  2. Washing your hands before using contact lenses or removing them 

Healthier Eyes for The Future 

To help maintain healthy eyes, a preventative approach is the key to success. If you neglect your eyelid hygiene, there can be serious consequences such as chronic red eyes, blepharitis, and dry eyes. If you start with good eyelid hygiene habits now then you can avoid eye complications. 

Regardless of eyelid hygiene maintenance at home, you should regularly visit your optometrist and get your eyes examined thoroughly. If you are looking for an optometrist, visit one of our MyDryEye clinics

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