I promised I would follow up with some simple preventative and treatment options for dry eye, so here you go! Remember how I said the majority of cases of dry eye are due to poor or deficient oil production, and most people have this problem even though their eyes feel comfortable? Well, then it makes sense to start by improving that oil production. One simple effective method of doing so is by using heat. Heat works by thinning and loosening the oil that is naturally produced by your eyelid glands to improve both quantity and quality. How can you apply that heat in a safe and effective manner? Some may say using a warm washcloth is adequate, but if you've ever tried it, a washcloth only holds heat for about 30 seconds. You also have to wonder what kind of bacteria may be hiding on that washcloth you pulled out of the linen closet... yuck! At Brandon Eyes we highly recommend using dry eye relief masks (DERM). These masks contain silica beads that hold heat so you won't have to continually reheat like you would with a washcloth. To use properly, place the mask in the microwave for 20 seconds and then place it over closed eyes for 5-10 minutes. Make sure the mask isn't too hot to touch before placing it over your eyes. When you're finished you may use your fingertip to gently massage along the lash line to further excrete the oil. Don't worry if your vision is blurry right after removing the mask; this is normal and means you're really getting those oil glands working! I recommend doing this at least once a day, preferably at nighttime, but you may do it more often if you have time or just enjoy it (it really is like a spa for your eyes.)
I wish I could tell you that this will magically solve all your dry eye problems overnight, but let's be realistic; it takes consistency to get real results. It generally takes about a month of daily application for you to notice a significant difference in symptoms, so hang in there! Many of our patients have seen significant improvement and really enjoy using their heat masks. More simple dry eye solutions to come... stay tuned!