PRO TIP: Blink hard ten times after 20 minutes of heating to help stimulate the glands and help pump the bad oil out. Make sure to do FULL blinks! Complete eye closure is a crucial requirement for ocular surface health.
Every time we blink, the Meibomian glands work to pump and squeeze out oil called the lipid layer, the protective layer of your tear film. The lipid layer blankets the front part of the eye to protect the tear film from evaporation.
Typically, eyes blink every 10 seconds. An incomplete blink (fast, the lids barely touching) can change the tear film integrity ~ the oil becomes stagnant or hardened, thus clogging the Meibomian glands. Without the protective layer, your tears evaporate quickly, exposing the nerves, causing Dry Eye symptoms like burning, itching, and redness, along with a gritty or sticky feeling in the eyes. Doing blinking exercises a few times a day helps to stimulate the glands. Blinking will also stimulate the muscles around the glands.
Below are blinking exercises that will help to stimulate the oil-producing glands around the eye:
1.) Imagine your lids are chewing bubble gums (I always laugh when I do this).
2.) Imagine pushing your cheeks up to your upper lids. Now squeeze your lids together and hold for a few seconds, then relax.
3.) Pretend your lids are squeezing a stress ball for a few seconds, and then relax.
I hope these tips help with your symptoms.
Let me know if you have any tips you want to share with the UNclog family or let us know which exercise was your favorite!
Have an eye-tastic day!