As we usher in the New Year, it's the perfect time to make resolutions that contribute to maintaining optimal eye health. Join us as we explore a set of achievable New Year's resolutions designed specifically for promoting healthier eyes. Discover suggestions of simple lifestyle changes, protective measures, and eye care practices that can make a significant difference in preserving and enhancing your ocular health in the year ahead.
As we embark on another fresh year, we all know how common (and important!) it is to set resolutions that prioritize our well-being, and we’re here to assert that this should include the often-overlooked topic of eye health and ocular hygiene (known in the industry as “eyegiene”).
This year, let's collectively make a commitment to maintain clearer vision and promote overall eye health through a set of resolutions that address the unique needs of our eyes, lids, and lashes!
Resolution #1: I will not go to bed without throughly washing my eyelids and lashes.
Maybe you have decided in 2024, you’re going to make an intentional effort to go to sleep earlier - but before you hit the pillow, make sure to thoroughly cleanse your eyelids and lashes! Occasionally falling asleep with cosmetic products or skin care such as sunscreen may seem harmless, but existing clinical research¹ has shown that chemical and bacterial contaminants found in cosmetic products can expose your eyes to irritation, discomfort, and in extreme cases, serious injuries and infection. Moreover, insufficient removal of eye cosmetics has been linked to increases in ocular allergies and diseases¹ - all the more reason to ensure clean eyes before shut eye. When removing cosmetic products and skincare at night, choose an eyelid and lash cleanser that has makeup removing properties, and follow it up—if possible—with a pure hypochlorous acid (HOCl) cleanser such as BIHOCL O.D. to help remove any lingering bacteria present. Make sure the cleanser has been tested and approved by both ophthalmologists and dermatologists; this way you can ensure clean eyes and happy skin.
Resolution #2: I will check the expiry date on cosmetic products and sanitize my eye cosmetic products and applicators.
Eye cosmetic products and applicators such as eyeliner, mascara, kohl, and cosmetic applicators such as eyeshadow brushes can harbour a lot of unwanted bacteria¹. The chemical composition of these products, and their related shelf-life is particularly important to keep in mind in order to ensure you are not applying an expired product harbouring bacteria. Continuous exposure to these bacterias can led to redness, swelling, itching, and other irritation symptoms affecting the ocular surface¹. In extreme or prolonged cases of bacterial exposure, some individuals may develop conditions such as blepharitis, keratitis, conjunctivitis, and dry eye disease (DED)¹. To keep your eyes healthy, check the expiry dates of your cosmetic products and be sure to toss any products past their expiry date. For the remainder of your cosmetic products or applicators, be sure to regularly sanitize surfaces and cleanse brushes with antibacterial cleansers to remove residual makeup and bacterial build up.
Resolution #3: I will remain mindful about screen time and blinking.
Making a resolution about blinking may seem odd, but in our digitally-driven age prolonged screen time can turn into a bigger issue than you’d expect. Continuous exposure to bright screens such as phones, laptops, and tablets has been linked to reduced blink rates and blink amplitude². While the full effects of screens on overall eye health are not yet completely known², this reduction in blink rates and amplitude are suggested to be related to a reduction in tear stability which leads to eye discomfort and other symptoms including dry eyes, eye strain, and headaches².
To avoid screen-related eye discomfort this year, try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Plus, since blinking provides our eyes with vital lubrication, try to be mindful about blinking more frequently during screen time!
Resolution #4: I will protect my eyes from the sun.
By now you may be familiar with the impacts of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure on your skin, but UV exposure is also associated with various ocular diseases, including cancerous eyelid malignancies and cataracts³. To maintain optimal eye health and protect your eyes from UV exposure this year (and every year), experts recommend simple behavioural changes such as weather appropriate clothing, hat wearing, UV blocking glasses, sunglasses, or contacts³. Similarly, it is recommended to ensure adequate sun protection on the eyelids and skin surrounding the eyes through topical application of sunscreens and shielding the area through hat-wearing and UV-protection sunglasses³.
Resolution #5: I will maintain regular check-ups with my eye care practitioner.
This one is pretty simple—if you can’t remember your last eye examination or visit to your local eye health centre, it’s time to visit.
And clinicians: you’re not off the hook either! Let’s ensure regular follow-ups for those patients who have gone far too long without seeing your smiling face in-clinic.
While semi-regular visual acuity tests may be useful for determining prescription strengths for glasses and contact lenses, full eye examinations, preformed by qualified ophthalmologists or optometrists, cover the deeper aspects of eye health and visual function⁴. A careful analysis of the internal eye structure can indicate serious conditions, revealing an early warning for proactive management of diabetes, potential strokes, or hypertension⁴. These full eye examinations can also detect and identify preventable causes of blindness and address conditions such as cataracts or retinal detachment in a timely manner⁴. It’s 2024, and we all want to be at the top of our game—and our health—so be sure to book in with your trusted eye care expert!
Resolution #6: I will develop an eyegiene routine.
When it comes to hygiene, we often prioritize specialized products designed for specific areas. One size does not fit all when it comes to caring for our skin, hair, and oral hygiene. For example, would you want to brush your teeth with shampoo or apply mouthwash to your skin? Probably not! However, many of us forget to consider our eyes in our hygiene routines, or we use generic products to achieve very eye-specific results.
Instead, this year let’s agree on the importance of establishing a proper eyegiene routine. For this, it’s best to consult with an eye care specialist, as they know best and can tailor their recommendations to your needs. These practitioners can help determine which products are suitable for your specific eye health needs.
Whether you are looking to address screen-related eye dryness or relieve itchy eyes, your local eye health clinic can guide you towards the right products for your daily routine.
A Standout Product for Simple, Effective Eyegiene Routines
BIHOCL O.D. is a pure hypochlorous acid (HOCl) eyegiene spray that offers an identical molecule to what is produced inside your own body’s white blood cells as your first line of defence against infection or inflammation. It is a pH-balanced, non-toxic, antimicrobial, and natural anti-inflammatory solution that is gentle on your eyes and skin while providing optimal hydration and a straightforward application.
The Advantages of HOCl-Based Eye Care
As mentioned, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a natural disinfectant produced by our body's white blood cells to fight off infections. But there’s more to the story: it works by destroying the cell membrane of bacteria, making HOCl highly effective in killing bacteria.
When manufactured outside the body in pure form, it can be just as effective as a safe and gentle, but powerful antimicrobial solution on the skin surrounding the eyes. In fact, that HOCl is so gentle and safe to use around the eyes and mucosal tissue is one of its greatest advantages. We believe, therefore, that hypochlorous is one of the greatest advantages an eye care professional has in their arsenal of treatment options.
HOCl is non-irritating and does not sting or burn, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin. Plus, the solution is non-toxic and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals, making it safe for daily (or even multiple-times-daily) use.
On contact, BIHOCL O.D. gets to work instantaneously, and applying it directly onto the skin around the eyes can reduce the risk of infections and promote faster healing, meaning your patients can start managing bacteria and discomfort with as little as a single spray.
When it comes to the health of our eyes, many of us neglect to intentionally commit to routines or daily habits that support the wellness of our eyes.
This year whether it’s booking in with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to determine the best products for your eyes, committing to regular screen breaks, wearing your sunnies, or even just blinking more, be sure to make resolutions that support the health and longevity of your eyes.
- Maroof, S., Mehmood, H., Khurshied, S., Bukhari, S. K., Shabir, M. B., Malik, K., ... & Zameer, U. (2019). Eye Makeup Use, Adoption of Makeup Safety Guidelines among Women and Its Association with Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI): Analytical Cross-Sectional Study. The International Journal of Frontier Sciences, 3(2), 78-83.
- Jaiswal, S., Asper, L., Long, J., Lee, A., Harrison, K., & Golebiowski, B. (2019). Ocular and visual discomfort associated with smartphones, tablets and computers: what we do and do not know. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 102(5), 463-477.
- Yam, J. C., & Kwok, A. K. (2014). Ultraviolet light and ocular diseases. International ophthalmology, 34, 383-400.
- Patel, H. H., & Pharm, M. (2019, February 26). Importance of Regular Eye Checks and the Check-up Procedure. News-Medical.net. Retrieved January 4, 2024, from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Importance-of-Regular-Eye-Checks-Procedure.aspx