People oftentimes overlook the importance of keeping eyelids and eyelashes clean. Our lids and lashes play a vital role in the health of our ocular surface, and keeping them clean can help defend against eye infections and prevent worsening of dry eye symptoms. Below are some helpful hints for practicing proper lid hygiene.
A common suggestion from eye care professionals in the prevention of ocular surface conditions, lid scrubs are a cheap and effective way to keep your eyelids and lashes clean. With clean hands, mix a small amount of baby shampoo with warm water and thoroughly rub the edge of eyelids and eyelashes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. This technique allows effective removal of debris from eyelashes, and the use of safe soap such as baby shampoo reduces the risk of corneal damage or irritation. Pre-prepared lid scrubs can also be purchased; ask your eye doctor for a recommendation.
Keeping Accessories Clean
Our lids and lashes may come in contact with more objects than we realize. To ensure proper lid hygiene, it’s important to keep such objects clean. Face towels should be regularly washed. If you wear makeup, be sure to replace brushes or other application tools every two to three months, and never go to sleep without washing off eye makeup. Regularly clean pillow covers and sheets. These steps will help reduce debris accumulation in our eyelashes and on our eyelids.
For people with noticeable dry eye symptoms, warm compresses are a vital aspect of lid hygiene. Special devices such as Bruder eye masks can be used, others choose to simply use a washcloth. Whether you use a mask or a cloth, run it under warm water and hold the warm cloth to your eyelids for 10 minutes. Follow the warm compress with a gentle lid massage, preventing clogging of the oil glands on the eyelids. Warm compresses should be performed daily.