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How to Use a Warm Compress Correctly for Dry Eyes

For those with dry eyes, especially persistent dry eyes caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), seeking the best dry eye remedy can seem like a never-ending task. 

Deceived by “artificial tears” that only provide temporary relief of symptoms and can create dependency on constant application, many feel like finding effective treatments for dry eyes is like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s an uphill battle to return to doing the things you love without worrying about irritation or blurry vision. 

Sure, you’ve read about warm compresses for the eyes, or may have even had them recommended by a doctor. But most compresses can be a hassle or even a safety risk by forcing you to use a microwave and guessing at how hot the compress will be when you put it on your eyelids. And besides, can something as simple as a warm compress be an effective treatment for dry eyes?

The Science of a Warm Compress for Dry Eyes

The warm compress for dry eyes has lasted as a proper remedy for dry eyes for a simple reason: it works to alleviate and treat an underlying cause of dry eyes. 

The essential foundation of a warm compress is in the name: warmth, or heat. The heating component of the compress is essential to being the best dry eye remedy. This temperature change helps to resolve any blockages in the Meibomian glands, small glands in the eyelids that deliver oil to the tear fluid. When these glands are blocked (this is called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction), the consistency of the tear fluid layers changes. The change in consistency means the tears evaporate faster, leading to dry eyes that itch, burn, or are so sensitive to light that even looking at screens for work or leisure can be painful and inconvenient. 

The warmth of the compress melts the oil back to a liquid state – allowing the flow of oil to resume and create tears that evaporate at the body’s natural pace. While the oil is melting, most warm compresses for the eyes also contain a moisture element, that soothes and delivers hydration to the eyes while the natural process is restored. This moisture component is also clinically confirmed to increase the efficiency of melting the oil. This is especially true at the ideal temperature of 40℃ as indicated by a study conducted by Drs. Don Korb, David Murakami, and Caroline Blackie that found that “the bundled wet/moist towel method was the only compress that elevated the temperature of all three lid surfaces (external upper, external lower, and internal lower lids) to 40°C or higher.”1

Using a Warm Compress for the Eyes

Using a warm compress for the eyes is simple. Most compresses that you can buy from a pharmacy or over the counter are microwavable or have a heating function. However, these compresses can be bulky, and finding a microwave or heating source in a pinch is tough, especially with painful or blurry vision already occurring. Once the compress is heated, place it over the eyes for 10-15 minutes, or according to package instructions to restore meibum flow.

Given the varieties of warm compresses available for dry eyes, it’s been hard to identify a universal application technique, but now a better solution exists in EverTears®, exists. 

Based on the traditional warm compress for the eyes, EverTears® is a small pad that just covers the eyes. This small sterile compress not only self-heats to conveniently deliver moist heat at the precise temperature required for effective treatment but also provides the critical cleaning needed for the best treatment of dry eyes.  And unlike microwave compresses and masks, EverTears®  works in less than 5 minutes.  In an independent clinical study presented at the American Academy of Optometry in October 2022, Dr. Ron Melton documented that all patients in the study saw significant improvement in their dry eye symptoms when using EverTears® as directed.  In fact, Dr. Melton and the other doctors conducting the study found that the majority of the patients with more severe symptoms prior to the study were classified as asymptomatic after using EverTears® as directed for only 7 days.  

So why bother with microwave hassles or be forced to constantly use “artificial tears” or eye drops for temporary relief?  In only a week your eye fatigue, or other painful symptoms can be a thing of the past with only two five-minute treatments per day. 

Dry eyes related to MGD is a chronic disease with no cure.  EverTears® has been clinically proven to significantly reduce the symptoms that plague millions of sufferers.  Although there is no cure, you can effectively manage dry eye disease with ongoing treatment of heat and eyelid hygiene.  That’s where EverTears® truly stands alone as an effective treatment for dry eyes. EverTears® self-heating pads also include a cleaning and moisturizing solution made with hyaluronic acid (HA) and coconut extracts.  So after the initial seven-day period, the use of EverTears® as part of a daily routine can work to clean the eyelids and help prevent the return of severe symptoms With this focus on remedy and ongoing treatment, EverTears® helps retain and protect your body’s natural tear moisture so you can focus on living your best life.

1 Murakami DK, Blackie CA, Korb DR. All Warm Compresses Are Not Equally Efficacious. Optom Vis Sci. 2015 Sep;92(9):e327-33. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000675. PMID: 26164316.

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