The I.T. Girl Hack for your week: eye socks. You’re welcome.
I thought I was going blind.
Looking at my computer screen at work, there was a persistent blurring of the image. I’d rub my eyes, it’d shift or go away for awhile, then return.
My eyes had history of burning after long hours of screen-work, but the blurring was new and scary. And since my eyes were burning to the point of pain, I booked an appointment with an ophthalmologist quick-like.
The ophthalmologist did a full examination of my peepers, being sure to let me know what she found along the way. (I had so many questions. Remember, I thought something serious was going on.) Turns out, my eyes were secreting tears just fine, but the oil ratio in them was troubling.
And there’s a name for that. It’s called meibomian gland dysfunction. Also called ‘meibomianitis.’ (Click here to learn more.)
And yeah. That was my diagnosis.
The cause? You’ll love this.
I wasn’t blinking enough.
So, basically, people who work with computer screens/ smart phone screens/ television screens all day blink very little. (You can read on that here.)
When a person blinks very little, the meibomian glands (the oil-makers of the eye) aren’t able to push out the oils they are meant to.
And if the meibomian glands don’t push out the oil, the oil turns to wax.
Yeah. I had a freaking wax buildup going on in my eyes because of my line of work.
To quote Beth Moore, not a blessing.
But the ophthalmologist had a solution! (Supposedly made easier by my age and the severity.) Warm compresses (for two solid minutes per eye) four times a day for two weeks, then two more weeks of M-W-F treatments, then as needed. for. the. rest. of. my. life.
…Or as long as I planned to keep working with computers and screens. Cue tears now.
I’ll sum up.
The treatment worked, but it was a pain to pull off. (Who wants to be dousing their eyes with heated water four times a day?)
This took place five years ago.
Nowadays, I just use a sock filled with rice, microwaved to perfection, for two solid minutes.
It works so well, I’m writing this post to share for all those out there who are experiencing burning, itching, blurring eyes due to too much
Fortnite screen time.
Especially for the poor souls like me who work with screens, relax with screens, and then call their mom with FaceTime. (Hi, Mom!)
My eye sock saves the day anytime the burning sensation starts up again.
This is my current eye sock, who I’ve lovingly named “Sockie The Christmas Gift To My Eyes.”
I stand by it as the best I.T. hack I’ve ever known.
I like this hack so much, I think every high school student should have one when they go off to adulthood, every young person should have one when they enter school, and every parent should have one for when the kids leave and they watch too many shows or sports on their phone.
You don’t have to use a Christmas sock for yours. Just sayin’.
So here’s how you make your own.
Simple to a fault.
- Find a sock made of fabric that won’t let rice dust escape. The sock can be as big or small as you wish. I liked mine to cover both my eyes well at the same time.
- Fill the sock with rice, leaving room to knot to opening of the sock. Don’t over-stuff. The sock needs to contour to your face. I recommend pouring the rice over a 13 x 9 baking dish to catch what falls. Especially if you aren’t using a funnel.
- Tie the sock opening in a knot so rice won’t escape.
- To use: microwave the rice sock for 60 to 90 seconds, then touch it to see if it’s hot enough. Add 30-second bursts to achieve correct heat level for you. (If you do 120+ seconds at one time, you risk burning the rice, which is a travesty and will make you cry. Okay, maybe I was the one that cried. Still. Don’t do it unless you want to start back at #1.)
- Without burning your face, hold the rice sock on your closed eyes for 2 minutes. (Your target is the eyelash line.)
- Done. Put the rice sock away in a dry location until you need it next. You can use the rice sock until something looks or smells off. Then make yourself a new one.
If you spill rice everywhere and are tempted to yell my name in frustration, don’t. Use a vacuum and try again. Your success with bless your eyes. (Also, don’t let the dry rice go down your kitchen pipes. It’s just not a good thing, you know?)
Hope this saves your I.T. / Programmer / Gamer / Video-Streaming eyes.