4 silliest habits you’d never think could cause an eye injury
Does ‘eye injury’ only evince you of a possible black eye following a WWE-styled fight or brawl in the middle of nowhere? Umm, but I’m not really a great person to have survived such massacring blows to my eye. At least till today (& hopefully I’d NEVER have to! *fingers crossed*).
Today, however, on a serious note, I’m going to share my account of recurrent eye injury 2.5 years ago & all that went into it. Why I really, like really, intend to share this with you is because there were a few things that I had never thought could land my eye in serious trouble & recurrent pain.
When it all started
So there was this morning alarm that perhaps rang for the 4th time, the way I used to have the intervals wake me up every 15 minutes. And as usual, I rose up to sit feeling exasperated in a second that I was late to rise at 6am & had to leave in ONLY 30 minutes! (I know, it’s a bit too painful to leave for work at 6.30am after preparing & packing 2 meals for the day). THIS had become almost a daily scene for me to wake upright in bed without spending some lazy roll-&-turn moments. But that day, I just couldn’t open my eyes. The pain was excruciating, eyes watering like an annoying leaky tap & a constant sensation of somebody mercilessly pricking it with a needle. I could barely speak to my husband that time out of the maddening pain.
Nevertheless, my pain was a cue to take a leave that day which I got sorted effortlessly, on account of a suspected eye infection. But I had absolutely no clue why this had to happen. More so, very surprisingly, after napping for an hour or so, I was totally fine. And more terrible was the guilt that I could have reached office late but not taken a leave. So I dealt with my guilt right & rushed to work for the remaining half of the day. I still walked with a pink eye (which was blood-red in the morning) to office, almost pacified with my colleagues who couldn’t let go of the sympathy & praises they showered me with for my sincerity. *Fast forward to another fortnight* These symptoms repeated, which FINALLY forced me to see an opthalmologist.
Eye injury: Episode 1 (Corneal abrasion)
It was diagnosed as corneal abrasion. When I asked the doctor what could have caused it, he said it could be scratches by the nails, or rubbing the eye after a sharp foreign particle fell into it or even pulling a strand of hair passing through the eye. I was given lubricating drops & an ointment as treatment. An eye injury involving corneal abrasion is one where the outermost layer of the eye (epithelium) is scratched or cut by a possible interference of a foreign object. Such a minor case of corneal abrasion, as per the doctors, takes less than 3 days to heal completely.
And I was pretty happy that I was done with this painful experience where I only could live in a dark ambience. Such an eye injury causes temporary photophobia (discomfort on light exposure). The moment you switch the lights on or step outdoors you feel as if someone’s thrusting his fingers violently into your eyeballs!
While I speculated again over all my habits & outdoor exposure through the days, I doubted if it were the heavy dust pollution I encountered on my way to work daily. Or could it just be my eyeliner? And by the way, it’s been long that I don’t grow my nails (at least not on the right hand!). But I’ve always found it hard to give up on the habit of rubbing my eyes often. So I really didn’t know then.
Eye injury: Episode 2 (Corneal Erosion)
On another quite normal-looking day, during one of my vacations at my native, I got this happening again! The 3rd time, it was. The waking up was clumsy this time too. My upper body swept a 90º in the air as I sat up from the lying position, eyes wide open, as if just shaken up from a nightmare.
The symptoms repeated yet again. My parents were puzzled with this recurrent issue now. There was no pollution within the walls of my cozy home as I suspected with Bangalore. Then, why again? I wasn’t even prescribed spectacles before. You see, that’s how we laymen think most of the time.
I fixed an appointment with the doctor there. After a thorough eye examination & going through my previous case papers of the thing, the doctor confirmed it as a case of recurrent corneal abrasion, which led to something called as corneal erosion.
What’s Corneal Erosion?
According to opthalmologists, corneal erosion happens when the outermost layer of the cornea (epithelium) loses its firm attachment with the immediately underlying tissue. As a result of this condition, symptoms exactly like those of corneal abrasion keep showing up frequently; thus causing extreme eye pain, redness, watery eyes & photophobia. And the damage seemed to be quite severely recurrent. Hence, I was suggested to go for Anterior Stromal Puncture (ASP) that involves making tiny holes with a medical needle on the corneal surface to strengthen the attachment between the outer corneal layer & the tissue underneath.
This time, too, I couldn’t hold myself back from asking the causes. And from the doctor’s thoughts, I only had some major things to deduce from my habits.
These are what I really want to share with you so that these silly yet faulty habits do not land you in tears ever (quite literally):
1. Rise with grace
No matter how many times your alarm is driving you nuts, put it off & wake up in peace. Never open your eyes suddenly from sleep even if you’re shouting to yourself, “Oh Shit! I’m late again!” Such eye movements cause friction due to dryness owing to the previously relaxed eye muscles. Therefore, chances of corneal erosion (eye injury) are very high.
Was I guilty here? Yes.
2. Wear Sunglasses
I often tucked my glares deep into my bag & was often lazy to pull them out & wear whenever dust was flying all around me. To make matters worse, I’ve still not gotten rid of this habit of rubbing my eyes frequently. I’ve lessened it though. And now I never step out without my glares. Sunglasses are a thing I wear more out of fright than posing cool for some random pictures. 🙂
Was I guilty again? Yes.
3. Wear safe eye makeup
Like I speculated before, it could even be my eyeliner to blame. But then I chucked it, because I just couldn’t let that favorite look go. I noticed even after the 1st occurrence of the eye injury, I didn’t stop wearing that branded liquid eyeliner to work. You never know how things get into your eyes. And it’s worse if you rub your eyes too often, even if you know the make up is on. (You don’t mind correcting the smudge later! 🙂 )
Guilty? Yes, of course.
So it’s now been almost over 2 years that I switched from my favorite eyeliner brand to Lotus Herbals Opulence Botanical Eye Liner. The best part that I loved about it is that it doesn’t flake or irritate the eyes even if you accidentally happen to rub them. I haven’t had eye injury or irritation issues ever since I started using the Lotus Herbals eyeliner. At least till today!
4. No Rubbing
Avoid rubbing the eyes when your hands could be dirty, or passing through heavily polluted areas or when you’ve got long nails. I’ve been able to control this rubbing habit, yet I need to work harder on quitting it totally.
Have you ever experienced an eye injury that was so unexpected? Do share in the comments.