I’ve had issues with my eyes for as long as I can remember: they are incredibly sensitive to light and wind, are always bloodshot, have a permanent gritty sensation, they water constantly and often get blurry. It’s just as annoying as it sounds! When I was finally diagnosed with ocular rosacea it was such a relief to give it a name. Ocular rosacea isn’t very well known but it is a dermatologic condition that affects the eye area and – unsurprisingly – is common among those of us who have rosacea. In this post I’ve put together my tips for dealing with tired and irritated eyes, as well as chatting about my brand spanking new glasses.
*Sponsored post with Specsavers.
Until I chatted to my optician I didn’t realise that anyone who regularly experiences irritation around their eyes can suffer from similar issues to ocular rosacea (not just those of us with rosacea). Eczema, psoriasis, asthma, allergies… they all cause the delicate skin around the eyes to be dry and sore, which has an impact on the overall sensitivity. I’ve put together my tips below and I hope anyone who struggles with irritated or dry eyes will find them useful:
TIPS TO SOOTHE SORE/TIRED/SENSITIVE EYES
- Give your eyes a break – prolonged use of screens (computers, phones, TV) can result in tired and itchy eyes. I worked out that from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I am looking at a screen. From 8am when I jump straight on my phone to catch up with the news … to 8.30am when I’m sat at my laptop … all the way through to 7pm when I binge-watch Netflix with my husband … and 11pm when I read my Kindle until I fall asleep. That’s 16 hours a day (minimum) when I’m looking at a screen. It can be hard to avoid this when your job involves working on a computer, but it’s good to rest your eyes at least every few hours.
- Remember to blink. I know, I know. This sounds ridiculous but bear with me. I discovered at my Specsavers appointment that (on top of the ocular rosacea irritation) my eyes were dry because I wasn’t doing full blinks. Apparently because I concentrate so hard when I’m working, my eyelids don’t fully close, so the bottom half of my eyes are more dry. I’ve been given daily blinking exercises to do… hello, all-new life low point!
- Eye drops can help to soothe the dry and gritty feeling of ocular rosacea. The ones I was recommended by my optician were Thealoz Duo drops, which are sold in most Specsavers stores.
- Warm compress – Some people hold a warm flannel/towel/cotton pad over their eyes, but if you’d like something less ‘drippy’ and actually designed specifically for this use, then I’d recommend something like this EYE MASK or THIS ONE – be sure to look for one that’s made from soft material (silk or satin) to avoid aggravating your sore eyes, and one that can be reused a decent number of times. After use, gently massage the eyelids: you’re trying to cleanse them without aggravating them. Once this is done, your eyes may seem a little blurry as you are opening up the oil glands in your eye that help your tears clean your eyes.
- If I don’t take my make up off properly, my eyes will be very sore the next day. It’s important to find a great, non-irritating eye make up remover that can tackle waterproof mascara and eyeliner. My favourites are La Roche Posay Respectissime and Bioderma (technically a micellar water but it’s very gentle and works brilliantly on even stubborn make up).
- Glasses are your friend – I used to rely on my contact lenses as I felt very self-conscious in my glasses, in fact the only people who typically saw me in them were my family and my husband. But this meant that if I had a busy week with lots of events I wore my contact lenses a lot more, which made my eyes incredibly dry and sore. At my Specsavers appointment I worked with the amazing staff to find the glasses that not only suited my face shape, but also my personality. My old glasses were far too square and dark for my face and colouring and just did not suit me, but after having a lot of fun trying on glasses I found two pairs that made me feel stylish and attractive – not something I ever thought I would say! Now I can wear my glasses without feeling self-conscious and help my sensitive eyes to feel happier at the same time.
If you haven’t had a Specsavers eye test recently, they’ve really come on in terms of technology and ease of use. I can’t lie to you, they still do that thing where they puff air onto your eyeball (which makes me feel funny just thinking about it…), but it’s over before you know it and it’s important for looking at your overall eye health so you just have to grin and bear it!
Then you have a photo taken of the back of your eye; you do the ‘is this image clearer…or this one?…or this one?’ (which I always feel *might* be a test that you can get very wrong. Just me?); and you have a light shone on every bit of your eyeball. But then the fun begins!
After chatting to the friendly staff, and trying on a few frames, we agreed that angular frames suited me the best (and not really severe square frames like my old ones) which helped to narrow down my choices. There were some really edgy Balmain ones that were a bit too bold – even for me! – and I was really tempted by the beautiful Kylie range, along with so many other designers, colours, and sizes. I recommend taking selfies in lots of different frames so you can see how you look from all angles (Specsavers have mounted tablets that can do this for you, which is so useful!). Another tip is to mix up your hairstyle as well: I got some odd looks from fellow customers, but I put my hair into a ponytail, tried pushing my fringe out of my face etc. so that I could double check that my chosen styles looked good with all hairstyles.
And, after much to-ing and fro-ing, these were the two pairs I decided on – the grey pair are Nicole Farhi, and the red pair are Boss Orange. I wanted one pair that were perfect for everyday wear and a bit more subtle, plus a pair that I could reach for when I feel a bit more bold and want to make a statement with my glasses. I can’t believe that I’ve gone from hiding my glasses from the world, to purposefully choosing frames that will draw the eye! What do you think?
I hope that you found these tips helpful and now feel a little bit better equipped to look after your sensitive peepers. You can find more information on ‘dry eye’ as a general eye health concern on the Specsavers website HERE. I had no idea what ocular rosacea was for many years and just thought that I was stuck with my sensitive eyes. Thankfully after some research and help from the lovely folks at Specsavers, my eyes are much happier and healthier. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for sensitive, tired, overworked, or ocular rosacea prone eyes – I love to hear your tips and experiences. Feel free to also tell me that my new glasses make me look very sophisticated/intelligent/chic…!
*Sponsored post with Specsavers. For more information, please see the Disclaimer tab at the top of the page. All photos taken by my long-suffering and patient husband, Aaron.
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