Why Eyelid Hygiene is Important

by Apr 6, 2019

The important role the eyelids and eyelashes play in the treatment and management of dry eye is oftentimes overlooked.  Eye care professionals know that our lids and lashes function to protect our ocular surface and promote a healthy tear film, and that keeping them clean is vital in treating dry eye symptoms and preventing infections.  From daily maintenance of the eyelids, to treating specific inflammatory eyelid conditions, there is a variety of products designed to promote proper lid hygiene and encourage improved ocular health.

Clean Lids, Healthier Eyes

Blepharitis is a condition in which the eyelids are inflamed, causing the eyelids to be red, sore, and crusty.  Oftentimes, blepharitis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on the eyelids, leading to an inflammatory reaction, a disruption of the tear film, and the worsening of dry eye symptoms.  Preventing blepharitis requires diligent lid hygiene and proper maintenance. This cleaning system works to completely remove all traces of makeup, leaving the eyelids clean and reducing the risk of developing blepharitis.  It is even effective against difficult-to-remove waterproof makeup. These lid wipes are another option, and offer convenient single-use cleansing pads that can be used daily to promote healthy lid margins and fight the overgrowth of bacteria.  The regular use of a cleaning system such as We Love Eyes or Blephaclean, as well as lifestyle mindfulness, such as keeping face towels, make-up applicators, and pillow covers clean, can help fight the eyelid bacteria that may otherwise lead to blepharitis.

Fighting Demodex

When blepharitis becomes more severe, the eyelids and lashes can become infected with a tiny parasite that feeds on the bacterial infestation.  These small mites, called Demodex, can even further worsen the symptoms of blepharitis and dry eye disease.  Symptoms of a demodex infestation are similar to blepharitis, such a red, itchy, scaly skin, but are oftentimes more severe and uncomfortable, and may be accompanied by an uncomfortable burning sensation or light sensitivity.  Demodex is more difficult to resolve, and typically requires a specially formulated eyelid cleanser. Products such as Blephadex or Cliradex have special ingredients, such as tea tree oil, that have proven to be effective in fighting difficult cases of Demodex infestation.  

Eyelid Hygiene: Beyond Blepharitis

By preventing the build-up of bacteria, proper eyelid hygiene prevents blepharitis and the resulting possibility of Demodex.  Keeping the eyelids and lashes clean is also vital in protecting the millions of glands that line our eyelids and help secrete our tears.  When these glands become dirty or clogged, they are unable to release important oils into the tear, and the front surface of the eye is left unprotected.  This not only worsens the symptoms of dryness, but can be a serious threat to ocular health and puts the corneal tissue at increased risk for damage. Our entire line of lid hygiene products can be used to help protect the health of your eyes by helping to remove blepharitis and promoting a healthy tear film and ocular surface.  


Our eye doctors and staff at Nittany Eye Care are trained in the newest technology and products to help you improve your eyelid hygiene.  Call us  at (814) 234-2015 or schedule an appointment online.  Our optometrists provide the highest quality eye care services in the State College, PA area.

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