The idea that eye hygiene is just as important as dental or other hygiene is not a new idea for Cliradex to share. In fact, we have been saying this for years and we will keep saying it until we convince everyone out there that your eyes are just as important as your teeth. Granted, your teeth are really important – but your eyes are just as crucial. They don’t just help you see, your eyes serve several critical functions.
The Functions of the Eyes
The eye is a sensory organ and it is part of the body’s defense system.
The simplest way to think about this is that the eyes tell you a lot about your environment. Fully functional and healthy eyes provide their “owner” with a combination of “perception, color and image” and “tears.” (Source). This can be thought about as a set of processes:
First, the seeing part. Your eyes operate the way that cameras are designed. Light comes through the clear, protective cornea. At that point the iris, which is like a camera’s diaphragm, controls the amount of light that goes further into the eye. The iris adjusts the pupil, as a camera does the aperture. The lens of the eye, which sits behind the pupil, essentially focuses on any objects that are nearby and are forward of the eye. The cornea works with the lens to direct light to the retina, which is at the back of the eyeball and forms the image that is sent through the optic nerve to the brain, creating a pattern that you interpret as sight.
Images are generated in the brain’s visual cortex. The retina itself is made up of nerve cells that sense light (rods and cones, which resemble the shapes they are named after). Cones take in and help you perceive colors and other details and rods help you see in the dark, off to the sides, and notice movement. They work with the macula, which provides central vision and is part of the retina. It focuses the eye on color, detail and form.
As a defensive organ, the eye serves to not only let you know what is in the environment, but also to keep foreign objects out and help to extract toxins. Tears function to keep your eyes healthy and lubricated and to help clean and clear any debris from the eye area.
Tears come from glands that make the fluid, which is like water plus a lubricating oil and a bonding mucus. There are ducts, or openings, in your eyes that allow the tears to flow across the surface. There are also ducts, which connect with your nose, that help to drain tears.
What Can Go Wrong with Your Eyes
The eyes are incredibly complex organs with a lot of parts that need to work, and work together in perfect unison. When any component is sick, infected, or irritated, it can impact not just one part but the entire eye and in many cases can lead to serious complications up to and including vision loss. There are too many diseases and disorders to list here, although there are online sources, such as All About Vision, that provide encyclopedic-like resources on the full range of eye diseases that a person can face in their lifetime. Cataloged, these are in the hundreds, if not thousands, with many being rare and some being almost unheard of or specific and unique to certain populations. Every part of the eye can be impacted on someone in some way. Those obscure syndromes are not what we are focused on here, and if you are facing one we apologize for not covering it. Rather we are focusing on the most common that impact the most people the most often.
Some of the most likely things to go wrong with your eyes are:
- Allergies cause the eyes to suffer from symptoms such as redness, itchiness and watering that is triggered by irritants.
- Infections include conjunctivitis, or pink eye, which occurs when the conjunctiva (the clear covering of the white of the eye) is inflamed.
- Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes do not produce tears that are sufficient in quantity or quality. This is usually triggered by meibomian gland dysfunction.
- Blepharitis and demodex is a lid margin disease that causes chronic eye irritation and an inflamed eyelid.
- Ocular rosacea is related to skin rosacea, and flares up with inflammation that is usually triggered by diet and environmental conditions.
The interesting thing about most of these is that they are either related to poor eye hygiene, or the symptoms worsen without really good eye hygiene. A significant number of cases of each of these are also linked to demodex mites.
Demodex Mites on Your Eyelids
Demodex mites are tiny (microscopic) arachnids that live on human skin cells and the oils that are produced in the skin and eyes. They reside on, or inside of, hair follicles and sebaceous glands, where they spend their entire short life-cycles. They are nocturnal so do not move around during the day. At night, however, they can move from person to person and are likely passed onto newborns from their parents this way.
There are two species of demodex mites, Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum. Both of these little bugs are found on virtually every adult in every corner of the world. This makes them incredibly common. In some cases they are innocuous, living in what seems to be symbiosis with their human hosts. That said, even in cases where people are not getting sick from the mites (which a lot of people do), they are somewhat disturbing. They are animals, but they do not have the anatomy to expel their waste. Thus, everything that they ate during their lifecycle and not used is built up and expelled upon their death. This waste contains bacteria that can cause an infection or trigger a reaction in people with autoimmune disorders. (Source). This is when problems do occur.
Even if you do not currently suffer from any of these, the chances that you will as you age increase significantly as does the size of the population of demodex mites you carry around with you. Studies have shown that by the time people are in their 70s there is almost a 100% chance that they have a significant infestation of demodex. By your 70s you are also likely facing vision issues that can be greatly complicated by what demodex tiggers. This doesn’t mean that in your 20s-60s you are immune to worry, however. It means that if you are in that younger age category you should make sure that you are practicing good eye hygiene on a daily basis and regularly visiting your eye doctor.
Proper Eye Hygiene: Cleanse with #1 Doctor Recommended, Cliradex
There are two important components of eye hygiene that can help you avoid many common complications and disorders. The first is making sure that your daily routine includes cleaning your eyes. The second is making sure that you clean them the right way.
Your eyes collect dirt, dust, pollen, oil, and if you wear it, makeup. This can build up and clog your glands or cause irritation or infection. Dermatologists recommend you wash your face twice a day, plus after working out, to clear away the dirt and sweat that creates a breeding ground for bacteria. We highly recommend the same strategy for your eyes. This will help to keep your eyes clean and clear of foreign particulates. It will also enable your eyes to do their job of protecting you better.
The best option for daily cleansing multiple times a day, if you are not actively suffering from a current infection or disorder, is to use Cliradex Light. This foaming cleanser is gentle enough for daily use and doubles as a skin cleanser. It not only washes away dirt and bacteria, but it soothes irritation and is formulated with the active component in tea tree oil, T-40. T-40, or 4-Terpineol is well established as the most effective way to kill demodex mites at every stage of their life cycle.
As a preventative and maintenance plan, twice each day wash the eyelids and surrounding skin, as well as the eyebrow area, with Cliradex Light. It only takes a dime-sized amount to clean your entire face, keeping it free of the demodex mites and their associated bacteria.
To use Cliradex Light:
- Shake well.
- Wash your hands and remove any makeup.
- Dispense a dime-sized amount of product onto your fingertips.
- Gently rub the foam into a light lather between your hands.
- Close your eyes and apply Cliradex to the eye area and surrounding facial areas.
For more information, you can view a video tutorial featuring Cliradex Light Foam on our YouTube Channel.
Cliradex is effective, non-toxic, vegan, gluten free and non-irritating. It is safe for use on even the most sensitive skin.