Warm compresses have been shown to be very effective for home treatment of different ailments; it is an old traditional method that has been used for therapeutic purposes by health professionals for certain medical conditions, and we’re going to cover a few of them today.
Warm compresses are a simple process that may involve a clean cloth soaked in warm water and used to gently compress the affected area, or it may mean using a warm compress eye mask. The heat from the compress may help reduce inflammation or melt accumulated oil that refuses to drain, in the case of stye and meibomian gland dysfunction.
Warm compresses can be very effective in some common eye conditions such as dry eyes, blepharitis, MGD, and styes.
Warm compresses are very effective on blepharitis by helping to reduce the inflammation and swelling of the eyelids. They may also help loosen dandruff of the eyelids, which occurs in blepharitis.
MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction)
The heat produced by the warm compress helps to soften and melt the stagnant oils blocking the meibomian glands. It is not the main treatment for this, but it goes a long way to assist in healing this disease.
Warm compresses have been known to help in the treatment of styes by producing heat that may help to melt down the compacted oil within the stye. This can help decrease inflammation and pain, and it may help the stye drain.
How do warm compresses help dry eyes?
Warm compresses are one of the easiest approaches to dry eyes because they will help the patient feel some instant relief. However, this will not cure dry eyes, just like most other dry eye treatments. Warm compresses are mostly for symptom relief.
How long should I keep a warm compress on my eyes?
Warm compresses should be applied for between 10-20 minutes. This should be done twice daily as a maintenance regimen, along with an eyelid hygiene routine.
What is the best way to make a warm compress?
Making a warm compress is very easy if you do not have a dry eye mask on hand:
- Wash your hands properly
- Use a small towel or washcloth
- Place the washcloth or towel under running water or in a bowl that contains warm water. Ideally, your warm compress will be between 40-45°C
- Squeeze out the excess water from the compress to make it damp
- Place the compress over closed eyelids and repeat as needed to keep the compress warm
- You should do this for a total of 10-20 minutes
Commercial Masks like Bruder and Heyedrate
Patients with eyes conditions like dry eyes, blepharitis, and MGD will find that making a warm compress can be tedious. It is much easier, and economical even, to just purchase one! The Bruder Eye Mask and the Heyedrate Dry Eye Mask are incredibly useful, and they will save you the stress it takes to make a warm compress yourself.
To use, follow these directions:
- Place the mask in the microwave for 15-20 seconds on High
- Test the temperature of the mask on the inside of your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot
- Lie back and place the mask over your closed eyelids for 10-20 minutes
- Enjoy the relief!
- Repeat this twice per day.
After applying the warm compress, make sure to follow with an eyelid hygiene regimen. The combination of the warm compress and an eyelid cleanser, like the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser, helps to open up the pores and glands that help release the oily substance necessary to strengthen the tear film that covers the eye surface. This keeps your eyes moist!