5 Blepharitis Warm Compresses to Try + 4 Other Blepharitis Treatments
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, and it affects millions of people. If you’re someone who is suffering from red, inflamed eyelids that burn, itch, or are otherwise sensitive, it could mean that you have blepharitis. Many will also notice a crusting or at least flakes on their eyelashes. This is a telltale sign of this condition. There are multiple causes for this condition, and the many contributors may overlap. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of the most effective treatment options for blepharitis, both those done in your doctor’s office and at-home remedies.
5 Blepharitis Warm Compresses to Try
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 and blepharitis, just like most other dry eye treatments. Warm compresses are mostly for symptom relief, but there are benefits to using them regularly.
The idea behind warm compresses is that they’ll work to not only loosen the flakes and crust present on the lashes, but they’ll also heat up the meibomian gland oils (called meibum). This is important because meibomian gland dysfunction (posterior blepharitis) is a huge contributor to dry eyes. With MGD, the meibum may become hardened and stagnant, unable to release from the glands. When they’re heated regularly, such as with a warm compress, it may be possible to strengthen that oil flow and keep those glands working.
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.
Is it necessary to do a warm compress two times per day?
Using warm compresses regularly can be very beneficial for the meibomian glands. By consistently applying heat, you can help keep the oil within them flowing and keep the glands functioning. However, most people find that using them once per day is sufficient.
This reusable eye mask not only provides effective warm and cold therapy for the eyes, but is also super comfortable and relaxing to use. Just microwave for 15-20 seconds. Place the warm compress over closed eyes for 15-20 minutes (reheating as necessary). It can be washed with a damp cloth and soap, and let to dry overnight. Quite possibly the best thing about this mask? For each one sold, Eye Love gives a portion of all profits back to those who can neither afford nor obtain proper eyecare in both the US and abroad.
If you’re looking for a warm compress mask with a removable cover for easy washing, this mask is for you. It’s very similar to the Heyedrate eye mask in the benefits it provides, yet it comes with a removable cover if you’d like to toss that into the wash every once in a while. Instructions are the same. Simply microwave for 15-20 seconds and place over your closed eyelids for 15-20 minutes.
You already know we like this mask because we listed it above! This version comes without the removable cover and is used in the same way. To clean this mask, and most others like it, simply use a damp washcloth and mild soap to scrub the outside of the mask. Allow it to sit overnight to dry, and up to 24 hours before using again.
4. Bruder Moist Heat Blepharitis Warm Compress
This warm eye compress emits precision heat, moisture and hydration to provide rejuvenating and soothing relief for tired eyes. It is used in a similar fashion as described above and provides a moist heat that gives the user instant symptom relief. The eye pads work so that they concentrate the heat directly onto the eyelids, so this one scores well in our list of best warm compress eye masks.
5. EyeGiene® System Blepharitis Warm Compress
If you don’t own or use a microwave, this is a great option for you. While we’ve tried many plug-in masks on the market, none of them were great. This one, however, doesn’t require electricity or a microwave. When ready to use, you’ll insert the disposable heating wafers into the mask and use it for 15-20 minutes. The only downside we see? You will have to purchase refills of the warming wafers, which may be too costly for some people in the long run.
4 Other Blepharitis Treatments
1. Eyelid Hygiene Routine
Aside from warm compresses, an eyelid hygiene routine is essential to treating blepharitis. It helps to keep the ocular flora in balance by eliminating the bad bacteria and keeping the good. Make sure to first remove all makeup, especially eye makeup, and wash your face with a tea tree face wash. This is now the time to use your warm compress, so heat that up and place it over your closed eyelids for 15-20 minutes. Once you’ve completed that step (and hopefully relaxed for a bit!), use a hypochlorous acid cleanser. Hypochlorous acid is made naturally by the body and it’s a gentle way to cleanse your eyelids and lashes. This routine should be followed once or twice daily, similar to brushing your teeth.
2. Blephex or NuLids
When excess bacteria is present on the eyelids, it begins to produce biofilm. Biofilm is incredibly hard to penetrate with your average eyelid cleanser, so we need to go a step further. For use by your eye doctor, BlephEx is a great option for cleaning the eyelid margins and removing biofilm. If you’d prefer something you can use at home, try the NuLids device. This device works in a similar fashion but is tested and safe for home use. As always, don’t forget to use an eyelid cleanser afterward to ensure you’re maintaining healthier eyelids and lashes.
For those who suffer from MGD, LipiFlow may be a great option for you. This thermal pulsation device is used by your eye doctor to help unclog your glands and get meibum moving again. Once the applicators are placed on your eyelids, heat and pulsation will be delivered directly onto the top of the meibomian glands. This combination of heat and pulsation helps liquify the oil in the glands and push out stagnant oil. This machine can be of huge benefit for those who are beginning to notice meibomian gland atrophy or glands that just aren’t producing proper oil. Head here to read more about LipiFlow.
4. Green Smoothies
We’ve said it a million times before, but we’ll say it again. What you put into your body matters. If you’re consuming junk food, fried foods, excess sugar, or foods you’re sensitive to, your body is going to constantly be in an inflamed state. This goes for your eyes as well! The simplest solution you can do today? Replace your breakfast with a green smoothie. You can find a smoothie chart here to help you create the perfect smoothie for you. Let’s get you back to healthy by making this small but significant change today!
FAQs about Warm Compresses
Are moist heat compresses better than dry heat?
This mostly comes down to personal preference. Whatever makes your eyes feel the best is what you should stick with, so try both. The heat is really what is needed, whether it is dry or moist.
Should I do hot compresses even if I'm having a good eye day?
We do recommend sticking with your routine. Warm compresses are kind of an interesting subject right now in the eye care world. Studies are starting to show they are mostly being tagged as "symptom relief", but these studies can be flawed. There is still a lot of benefit to using them regularly. Basically, stick with your routine no matter what, even if you are feeling better. By continuing to care for your meibomian glands, you'll prevent future issues and flare-ups.