More Eye Weirdness: Blocked Oil Glands and Dry Eyes

The start of my anxiety

Just as I was overcoming a health scare that involved a bump on my head (more on that soon), I started feeling something obstructing my right eye every night as I was falling asleep. Cue to me taking up close selfies of my eyeball like a crazy person, as if I could figure out what was wrong. As if I had life on easy mode.

The internet was introducing me to new words like “blepharitis” and old favorites like stye. Yay styes. And suddenly I wasn’t sure if my eye irritation was always there, or I had induced a new condition by constantly poking at it. In the end, I passed out from pure exhaustion and figuring out that I could avoid the uncomfy area of my eye by sleeping in a very specific position.

The adult thing to do

The next day, I finally booked an eye exam (an activity I’ve avoided for as long as I could because I hate the machine that puffs air at me). The doctor was exceptionally educational, barraging me with Google image visuals of what’s going on.

It turns out, when you’re looking at screens a lot, your eyes don’t blink. And I guess I hadn’t blinked in a while. My eyes were extremely dry. She advised the “20/20” rule: 20 seconds of looking 20 feet out, every 20 minutes of my waking day. She called it eye flossing. I nodded like it would be a realistic routine, but at least reminded myself to manually blink since I’m not a robot.

This dry eye condition led to something much grosser. Apparently there are oil glands that vertically line your eyelashes. When you blink, you help release the oils from these glands. Since I wasn’t doing much of that, my glands became blocked. The oil was hardened like ‘cold butter’, and I need to bring that butter to room temperature.

Obligatory Google Image Visual

The cure

Thankfully, there’s an out. For real, every doctor should always begin their diagnosis with “There’s a cure..”. In this case, I was upsold to a Bruder eye mask and medical eye drops. Do both three times a day and my butter block should be melted in two weeks.

Bruder eye mask | $17.45 | 4.5/5 (21,355 ratings)

To be honest, I actually love this eye mask. They’re like two tiny bean bags on your face. It’s easy to massage your eyes with them on. Takes 20 seconds to heat. You can wash the outside. And according to the doctor, it lasts for years.

If you’re going through this right now, there’s hope yet. Warm compress with a cloth at home or Amazon yourself a mask. Probably blink more. I hope by sharing this, I’ve helped relieved someone else’s panic attack.

Your millennial friend ,
Cindy

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