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Eyelid Hygiene Tips: Keeping Your Eyes Healthy & Clean

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If you’ve ever had an itching and burning sensation in your eyes, it may have been a condition called “blepharitis.” This condition causes burning sensations, irritation, flaky skin, and more. While your optometrist can help treat your eye condition, prevention is often the easiest way to handle blepharitis.

It helps to keep your eyes healthy and clean. Implement a daily eyelid care routine and make sure to gently clean your eyelids with mild soap and warm water. Use compresses where necessary to keep your eyes comfortable, and make sure you wash your hands before and after touching your eyes. This lowers the risk of transmitting harmful bacteria to your eyes and can help you avoid conditions like blepharitis.

Why Should I Clean My Eyelids?

Your eyes are responsible for your vision, but they’re an extremely sensitive part of your body. While your tear film helps a great deal with flushing away bacteria, debris, and other contaminants, it can only do so much. Your eyelids come into direct contact with the eye, so when they have any debris, oils, or bacteria, they can transmit this directly to the eye.

This is why it’s so important to regularly clean your eyelids. Just like washing your face or brushing your teeth, your eyelid hygiene is extremely important to staying healthy. When your eyelids are dirty, they can transmit harmful contaminants to the eye, which can lead to a host of problems like blepharitis.

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What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common and often chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelids. While it can occur at any age, it is more common as people age. There are two primary types of blepharitis:

  • Anterior blepharitis, which affects the front of the eyelid where the eyelashes attach
  • Posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner part of the eyelid

These can both be caused by different types of bacteria. They’ll often cause symptoms like burning sensations, flaky skin, and eye irritation.

However, there’s another condition called “Demodex blepharitis” that can cause similar symptoms.

Demodex Blepharitis

All along your hair follicles and oil glands, there are tiny little parasites called Demodex mites. Usually, these are completely harmless and are just another part of how your body works. However, an overpopulation of these mites can sometimes trigger a reaction in sensitive parts of the body—like the eyelids.

When there are too many of these tiny mites, they can transmit bacteria or other contaminants to the sensitive parts of the body, which can trigger the symptoms of blepharitis.

Can You Treat Blepharitis?

There are several treatment options available that can help you find relief from your symptoms.

Treatment will vary depending on what type of blepharitis you have. It can help to visit your optometrist for a proper diagnosis; they can recommend an appropriate type of treatment depending on your unique situation. Then, they’ll likely recommend one of the following:

  • Using warm compresses to find relief
  • Eye drops to find temporary relief from irritation and inflammation
  • Medication like antibiotics to help with bacterial infections

In some situations, they may recommend a more advanced treatment—like with XDEMVY.


XDEMVY is an FDA-approved 6-week-long specialized treatment designed specifically for Demodex blepharitis. It specifically targets the Demodex mites that cause the irritation and inflammation of blepharitis.

It aims to mitigate the overpopulation of these mites, which can eventually reduce the amount of bacteria transmitted to the eyelids. Over time, this helps to reduce the symptoms of blepharitis and controls the amount of Demodex mites around your eyelids.

This can be prescribed by your optometrist, as they’ll need to verify whether or not mites are the cause of your blepharitis. If they recommend XDEMVY, it’s important to continue through with the full 6  weeks of recommended treatment.

However, if you’ve recently had an ocular surgery or any other eye infection, XDEMVY may not be ideal. It’s essential to discuss potential treatment with your optometrist before starting any type of treatment so they can determine whether or not it’s a safe choice for you.

Tips for Good Eye Hygiene

There is good news when thinking about conditions like blepharitis: with proper eyelid hygiene, you can significantly lower the risk of developing these conditions.

It helps to maintain good eye hygiene with a daily care routine. Try to:

  • Wash your eyelids with mild soap and warm water, or with an over-the-counter eyelid scrub
  • Use warm compresses to heat and stimulate the area around your eyelids
  • Wash any makeup off before going to bed

It can also help to avoid touching your eyes whenever possible. If you need to touch your eyes, make sure you wash your hands first. This lowers the chances of transmitting harmful bacteria, dirt, viruses, and any other contaminants to the eyes, which can help keep your eyes healthy and clean.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

Even if you aren’t experiencing a problem with your eyes and vision, regular eye checkups are one of the easiest ways to take care of your eyes. So come visit our team at Higgins Brothers’ Vision Care! Our team of experienced eye care professionals can thoroughly check your eyes to determine whether or not you’re at risk of a condition like blepharitis. Don’t let eye conditions sneak up announced—book an appointment with our team today!

Dr. Donald J. Higgins

Written by Dr. Donald J. Higgins

Dr. Donald J. Higgins is the founder and Medical Director of the Dry Eye Treatment Center of Connecticut, a clinic specializing in diagnosing and treating dry eye disease. This clinic features Tear Lab, Oculus with Crystal Dry Eye Report, Equinox LLLT, Lipiflow, and Lumenis OptiLight treatments.

Dr. Higgins decided to become an eye doctor his junior year in high school and has never looked back. In his undergraduate studies, Dr. Higgins received the Trustees Prize in Science, the highest award presented to a science student. He graduated from Boston College in 1978 and began attending the New England College of Optometry. After graduating in 1982, he returned to his hometown of Plainville and has been in private practice ever since.

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