Improve dry eye with a warm compress

warm compress on eyes

How a warm compress helps dry eye

Warm compresses are an important part of dry eye therapy. In many cases of dry eye, the meibomian glands along the eyelid margin often become clogged with hardened oil and surface debris. This leads to an inability to produce the thick protective outer layer of the tear film and results in excess tear evaporation. Warm compresses help to loosen the hardened oil and debris that are clogging the oil-producing glands, and warm compresses aid in the body’s natural ability to maintain an appropriate tear film.

How to use a warm compress on eyes

A warm compress may be performed in many ways. The most common type is to take a warm clean wash cloth, heat it as warm as possible (but not too hot to cause damage) and lay it across the closed eyes for 10-15 minutes, rewarming as needed. This method works well but can become bothersome to rewarm the cloth repeatedly.

Other options include microwaving the wet washcloth for about 5 minutes or microwaving a rice sack or other commercially available products. Place the warm washcloth over the eyes then lay the heat source over the washcloth and relax for 10-15 minutes.

Be careful not to overheat the cloth or the heat source, and never use it if it’s hot enough to cause damage. Warm compresses are usually performed two times a day until improvement is noted and then tapered accordingly.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley and Nationwide Plaza. 

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*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*