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Are Mites Living in Your Eyelashes? Shocking Truth Revealed

Our eyes, one of the most essential and frequently used organs, are under constant strain. In spring, they suffer from fine dust; in winter, they grapple with dry weather and heating appliances. If you’re experiencing discomfort that doesn’t improve with artificial tears or eye drops and can’t find a particular cause, washing your eyelids daily, just as you would wash your face, is crucial. Moreover, we’ve compiled some valuable tips for maintaining eye health regularly.


Why Eye Diseases Occur

Many people struggle with eye conditions like blepharitis and dry eye syndrome during seasons with high air pollution levels, like spring or transitional periods. While masks can protect our noses and throats, our eyes remain exposed to the external environment. If waste accumulates in the oil glands of the eyes, it can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to dry eyes, blepharitis, and redness. There’s also an increased risk of developing styes due to mites.


Mites Living in Sebaceous Glands

Mites, a type of tick, are external parasites on the human body. They primarily inhabit areas with hair and lots of sebum. Eyelids with eyelashes and meibomian glands can be considered optimal habitats for mites. Mites parasitize the eyelashes and the sebaceous glands inside the eyelashes, penetrating the follicles and sebaceous glands to consume sebum, their source of nutrition. There may be no specific symptoms when mites are present, but if your immunity drops or your hygiene conditions are poor, you may experience styes, redness, and dry eyes.


Repeated Exposure to Fine Dust

Studies have examined the effects of repeated exposure to fine dust. The results showed that the epidermis thickened and inflammatory cells infiltrated deep into the dermis. However, inflammation was alleviated when antioxidants were applied to the skin. Even if the skin barrier is normal, fine dust can infiltrate the follicles, so it’s essential to wash thoroughly every day and be especially careful about exposure to fine dust.


Cleaning with a Cotton Swab

It’s a good idea to regularly clean your eyelashes with a cotton swab soaked in an eyelid-specific cleanser or clean water. Removing the waste accumulated in the meibomian glands can prevent your eyes from becoming red and your eyelashes from falling out and avoid blepharitis, which feels like something is pricking your eye.


Rubbing Eyelids with Soap

When washing your eyelids, use an alkaline soap with a pH of 9-10. Alkaline soaps are effective for cleaning oils. When washing your face, lightly rub the edge of your eyelid with alkaline soap about twice, making sure not to get any soap in your eyes. This can also help with symptoms like dry eyes and redness.


Do NOT Apply Eye Drops When Your Eyes Are Red

Long-term use of electronic devices like smartphones or PCs can quickly dry out and tire your eyes. When fatigue accumulates in the eyeball, the tiny blood vessels on the sclera expand due to inflammation or stimulation, causing redness. Most people try to relieve these symptoms by applying eye drops. However, excessive eye drops without a proper examination can harm eye health, so caution is needed. Steroid-containing eye drops can disrupt blood circulation and oxygen supply, and you may miss the timing for treatment by overlooking the cause. If redness persists for more than a week, it’s better to visit a hospital and identify the exact cause rather than just using eye drops.


If You Wear Eye Makeup, Clean More Thoroughly

Maintaining thorough eyelid hygiene becomes crucial for those who regularly wear eye makeup, as residue can accumulate easily. If you find cleaning your eyelids thoroughly challenging due to sensitive eyes, using a warm, damp washcloth can be a helpful alternative.

Here’s how to go about it: After your initial cleansing routine, take a clean washcloth, soak it in warm water, and gently cover your eyes for 5-10 minutes. The warmth will help loosen and release oily secretions from your eyelids. To remove these secretions, use a cotton swab soaked in warm water, delicately sweeping it across your eyelashes and eyelids as needed.


Finger Massage Is Also Effective

Massage your upper and lower eyelids in turn with your fingers. When massaging the upper eyelid, tilt your eyes downward and press gently on the edge of the eyelid and the eyelash area with your index finger. It’s adequate to divide the front, middle, and back of the eye and press until you feel a bit sore. When massaging the lower eyelid, open your eyes wide and use the side of your finger rather than the tip to prevent injury to the conjunctiva.


Frequent Application of Eye Drops

Carrying artificial tears and frequently applying them can also be helpful. Artificial tears without preservatives are similar to actual tears so that they can be applied frequently. They supply sufficient moisture to the eyeball and have the effect of washing out not only fine dust but also other foreign substances. Therefore, applying them abundantly 4-5 times daily is good.


If Eye Disease Has Already Started, Aggressive Treatment Is Essential

If you’ve already noticed inflammation in your eyes, it may indicate that you’re in a more advanced stage. Even if the idea of daily eye care feels overwhelming, adopting simple practices like regular eyelid washing and using artificial tears during seasons when allergies and fine dust are prevalent, such as spring or transitional periods, can contribute to maintaining better eye moisture. However, if your eye condition has deteriorated significantly, you should seek prompt medical attention by visiting a hospital. Undergoing active treatment from a healthcare professional is the most effective way to recover quickly.

By. Shin Young Jeon

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