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How do Heating Eye Masks help my Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is no fun to live with. In fact, it can often be unbearable.

Fortunately, there are many solutions today that can help you manage Dry Eye and provide you with effective, ongoing relief. Heating eye masks and warm compresses are just one of the many treatments your eye doctor will recommend for Dry Eye management.  

Why do Meibomian Glands matter?

Our eyes have tiny little glands in them called "Meibomian Glands" and their job is to secrete oil onto the front of your eyes.  This oil functions to keep the tears stuck to the surface of your eye. Without the oily part of your tear film, the water would evaporate off the surface of the eye and cause eyes to be dry all the time!  

When these little glands get blocked, you develop what is called "Meibomian Gland Disease" also referred to as MGD. The oil is naturally supposed to be liquid and clear, like olive oil.  In the case of MGD, the oil is thick and white, like toothpaste.

So what are the treatment options for those diagnosed with Meibomian Gland Disease? Despite sounding scary, it is manageable. Proper treatment will ensure both improved eye comfort, and will also prevent potentially sight-threatening complications. This is where the job of the heating mask comes in.


How do heating masks work?

A mask will provide 10 minutes of constant heat to the glands, liquifying the oil and allowing it to flow out of the glands.  In other words, a heated compress will open up oil glands and allow the natural oils to flow back onto the eye alleviating discomfort that arises from MGD, or simply from aging, contact lenses, climate changes, computer use and more.

After the treatment, blinking will force the oil to be released from the gland and allow the surface of the eye to be coated in oil.  

The goal of treatment is to improve the flow of Meibomian gland secretions, thereby increasing tear film stability. The mainstay treatment for MGD is the application of heat to the eyelids. Greater tear film stability and increased tear film lipid layer thickness in patients with MGD following treatment have been well supported by several studies.

What are my options?

We have two wonderful options for heating masks available on the Eye Drop Shop to help you with your Dry Eye:

   1. Dry, auto activated mask:

No microwave? No Problem!  The eyegiene mask is perfect for homes that have no microwaves or to keep up with your dry eye treatment while on trips.  This auto-activating mask is as easy as 1-2-3; Simply open the packet of warming wafers from their sealed package, insert into the eyegiene eye mask, and enjoy!  Dry eye relief, anywhere, anytime!

    2. Dry, warmed up using a microwave:

This mask contains little beads inside that will heat up to the proper temperature by warming in your microwave for 20-30 seconds.  It also absorbs the humidity of the air to create a moist environment along with the heat. It is antibacterial and non allergenic. Compared to other models made of plastic, the bruder mask is made of material that is extremely gentle on the delicate and thin skin surrounding the eyes.  It can be machine washed and is reusable!

Don’t fret, your Dry Eye will get better upon proper treatment and care! 

Take care of your eyes daily and you will see the difference,

The Eye Drop Shop Team xo    

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Sources:

D.L. Opitz, J.S. Harthan, S.R. Fromstein, S.G. Hauswirth, Diagnosis and management of Meibomian gland dysfunction: optometrists' perspective, Clin. Optometry 7 (2015) 5969.

J. Qiao, X. Yan, Emerging treatment options for Meibomian gland dysfunction, Clin. Ophthalmol. 7 (2013) 17971803.

R. Arita, N. Morishige, R. Shirakawa, Y. Sato, S. Amano, Effects of eyelid warming devices on tear film parameters in normal subjects and patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, Ocul. Surf. 13 (4) (2015) 321–330.

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