Something was stuck in your eyes, and it stings like hell. But what is the proper way to clean your eyes? Is it right to use soap? Or do you need to see an eye doctor right away? Read on to find out.
Thin and sensitive tissues surround the eyes. If we fail to protect them, they may lead to loss of eyesight or eye diseases such as cataracts.
Why should you clean the eyes?
One of the ways to protect the eyes is to clean them. In everyday life, bacteria are commonly found in eyelids, eyebrows, and faces. If these bacteria become excessive, an infection may occur, such as:
- Conjunctivitis/pink eye
When should you clean the eyes?
Tears are the body’s natural defense to remove the foreign bodies stuck in the eyes. The eyes clean themselves through the tears during blinking. For every minute, the eyes may blink about 12 to 16 times. But, the tears alone may not guarantee clean eyes.
Dust, dirt, bacteria, and other foreign bodies must be removed thoroughly to avoid infections. To ensure that the eyelid’s oil glands remain clear and clean, cleaning the eyes and their surrounding area should be done daily. When foreign bodies get into the eyes, there is more reason to clean them.
Best ways to properly clean the eyes
Cleaning the eyes may seem a complex process. Improper eye cleaning may worsen the case and even lead to impaired vision.
Here are some of the best ways to properly clean the eyes in case foreign bodies get stuck in them.
- Take out the contact lens if you are wearing one.
- Wash with cool water or any sterile liquid-like sodium chloride for 15 minutes.
- Immediately flush the eyes with clean water. Flushing helps remove traces of chemicals and other irritants. But do not do flushing if you have a puncture wound in the eye.
- Contact an eye doctor at the soonest possible time.
- Pus or mucus
- Put a warm, moist washcloth on the closed eye for a few minutes. This will soften up the dried pus or mucus.
- Use different washcloths for each eye to avoid spreading the infection.
- Gently wipe from the inner corner to the outer corner of the eye.
- Use eye drops in case of redness and dryness.
- Dirt or debris
- Use a clean basin and fill it up with clean water.
- Blink a few times to trigger tears that will help flush out the object.
- Wash with cool, clean water from a sink for 10 to 15 minutes
- Use a clean washcloth to wipe off the dirt.
On the other hand, eye cleaning can be done daily using natural and home remedies.
Use regular eye drops containing the saline solution to get rid of the redness in the eyes. The saline solution does not cause discomfort when flushing the eyes as it has a pH level similar to human tears.
Though you can easily prepare a saline solution at home, eye drops in the pharmacy are the most viable option. It contains a saline solution and is prepared in a sterile environment. However, if you opt to make your saline solution, it must be consumed within 24 hours.
Tea tree oil
A study found that tea tree oil is effective when used as shampoo on the eyelids. Tea tree oil contains 100 different components that make it anti-inflammatory, anti-protozoal, and anti-bacterial. It has natural cleansing benefits that effectively remove dirt, bacteria, and toxins. Most importantly, it is safe for eyelid and eyelash regimens.
In a 2011 study, Carmellia Sinensis plant or green tea contains major polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may have therapeutic potential for ocular inflammatory conditions such as dry eye.
To use the green tea, steep the bags in some hot water and let them cool completely. You may also put them in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, you can place them on your eyelids for 10 to 20 minutes. This will help out in puffy, swollen, or irritated eyes.
According to a study, rose water contains 10-50% rose oil and is abundant in phenolic compounds. These compounds have antioxidants, free-radical scavengers, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, and antidepressant properties, making them an effective remedy for various eye conditions.
When using rose water, you may apply a few drops to the eyes. You may also use a cotton ball soaked in rose water and dab the eyelids. Rosewater helps reduce swelling or puffiness of the eyes.
What should you not do?
It would be best not to do the following things when cleaning the eyes.
- Do not touch the eyes with unclean hands.
- Do not rub the eye. This will irritate and worsen the eye.
- Do not apply pressure.
- Do not self-medicate or apply ointment to the eye.
When to see an eye doctor?
The following are the situations when you need to see an eye doctor right away.
- Trouble seeing
- Difficulty in opening the eye
- Redness in the white part of the eye
- An eye that’s bothered by bright light
- Discharge that won’t stop
- Difficulty getting the debris out yourself
Cleaning your eyes is an essential habit for healthy eyes and good vision. However, it is equally important to follow proper eye cleaning to avoid eye stress, impaired vision, and even blindness. With natural home remedies like saline solution, tea tree oil, flushing, and more, you can safely get rid of irritants, chemicals, dirt, and other foreign bodies that can pose hazards to the eyes while keeping the eye area clean and healthy.
For your proper eye cleaning, you may visit the Arizona Retinal Specialists. With us, you can rest assured that your eyes are well taken care of by licensed eye doctors. Visit our clinic and let us help you improve your vision.
Cavet, M. E., Harrington, K. L., Vollmer, T. R., Ward, K. W., & Zhang, J. Z. (2011). Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate in human corneal epithelial cells. Molecular vision, 17, 533–542.
Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S. (2011). Pharmacological effects of rosa damascena. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences, 14(4), 295–307.