By Kennedy Shelley
We all have our morning routines. Stretch, possibly brush our teeth, but here’s a new one to add to your day…wash your eyelids.
It’s amazing what using a little gentle soap and light cleaning can do to keep your eyes healthy.
If you use eye makeup it is especially important to add this to your morning regiment.
You might notice that your eyes are getting dry and itchy, especially during allergy season.
This process of washing removes many of the allergens that have gotten stuck on the eyelids adding to the problem.
But why does this work?
When you clean the lids and eyelashes, you are also cleaning out the tear ducts which helps allow them to get natural moisture to the eye.
When they don’t work, bad things happen.
The meibomian glands secrete an oily substance that keeps your tears from quickly evaporating away, even in hot dry climates.
Washing the eyelid and lashes keeps the tiny gland path clear so they don’t get blocked.
When they get blocked over time from all the gunk on our eyelids, you can develop a painful condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
Taking a few seconds to wash around the eye prevents this and prevents you from developing permanent dry eye later in life.
Ask anyone who suffers from it and you will know you don’t want it.
While dry eyes may be a problem for the older population, MGD can affect anyone. It’s a painful inflammation of the eyelid.
One of the causes could be a blocked gland, and the only way to really clear it out is to use warm compresses on the site until it goes away.
And it is miserable, but often avoidable if you take a few seconds to keep your eyelids clean.
NOTE: If the warm compresses don’t clear it up you might have a fungal infection and you need to see your eye doctor.
By doing a daily cleaning you are removing the toxic biofilm that surrounds the eye. Microscopic and parasitic eyelash mites called Demodex love that environment and start to flourish in a dirty eyelash.
Don’t use ordinary soap to clean the eyes though. If some of it gets on the eye, well it just hurts.
Just diluting a little baby shampoo is generally gentle enough to use around the eyes and shouldn’t cause any irritation.
If you are particularly sensitive, there are some specific soaps to use around this delicate tissue.
You might want to start cleaning your eyelids a couple of times a day to get started and then just do it at least in the morning though many also do it at night.
It’s a small investment in time, but because it prevents the long term problem of dry eyes which require you to use drops for the rest of your life, or painful MGD flair-ups that can keep you from wearing contact lenses or seeing your phone screen comfortably it’s a small price to pay.