THE SCIENCE OF MOIST-HEAT THERAPY
For decades, eye doctors have recommended various home remedies to help relieve dry eye symptoms. These have included applying a warm wet wash cloth, rice in a sock, hot potato or even a boiled egg over the eyelid margin for temporary relief. While well intended, these methods have proved ineffective for long-term relief.1 Now we know why!
The concept of applying moist-heat to the lid margin is invaluable for helping to manage a variety of mild to severe ocular surface conditions including dry eye, MGD and Blepharitis. It is also one of several things you can do to help prevent the premature development of ocular surface conditions.
Why? A clinical-based study determined that 10% of dry eye is aqueous deficient, 35% evaporative and 55% a mix of both2, meaning most dry eye is Evaporative Dry Eye, or MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction). This type of dry eye is the result of critical oils in the Meibomian Glands becoming clogged. In a healthy eye, the Meibomian Glands secrete oil every time you blink. This precious oil mixes with the Mucin and Aqueous portion of the tear to slow tear evaporation. When the glands become clogged, the fluid coming out of the glands becomes more like toothpaste instead of the desirable consistency of olive oil.
Causes of Dry Eye and MGD stem from our environment, lifestyle and physical condition. Some common causes include forgetting to blink when staring at computers or devices, not removing make-up from the lid margin, hormonal changes, low humidity environments and contact lens wear - and there are many more.
Moist-heat therapy, stimulates tear production by promoting circulation, speeds heat transfer and loosens the oils back to their healthy state. The humidity associated with moist-heat stabilizes the tear film and hydrates the sensitive eyelid and surrounding skin. 3,4,5 The key to an effective moist-heat therapy is in the science.
Extensive research6 during the past few years has proved to effectively manage MGD, a moist-heat compress needs sustain temperatures between 102 and 108 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 20 minutes!
Approximately 50% of people with dry eye or MGD have a mild condition which requires 5 minutes of controlled temperature to relieve their symptoms. Moderate to Severe patients require 10-20 minutes!*. An eye doctor specializing in dry eye can help you determine what type of dry eye you have.
Moist-Heat versus Dry Heat
The eyelid is the thinnest skin in the human body. Research has indicated that if you have dry eye, you might also have dry skin.7 We recommend always applying moist-heat to the lid margin, never dry heat
EYE ECO DIFFERENCE - PROVEN EFFECTIVE MOIST-HEAT
Eye Eco™ offers three scientifically proven, all natural moist-heat therapies which deliver 5-25 minutes of optimum, controlled temperature and humidity for immediate and long-term dry eye relief. Why three? Well, simple. Dry Eye patient's needs differ, including their moist-heat therapy needs.
Using hygrometers, we measure the temperature, relative humidity and duration of our technologies. This testing assures our products deliver safe, controlled moist-heat therapies which deliver the optimum performance for your condition. We believe this evaluative process is essential to ensure our technologies do not exceed desired temperature levels, potentially burning or drying out the sensitive eyelid and surrounding skin.
Below are charts showing the moist-heat performance of a wash cloth and flaxseed masks:
Below, are the performance charts for the tranquileyes® and tranquileyes® XL systems. The tranquileyes® will deliver optimum temperature and humidity up to 18 minutes. The tranquileyes® XL will deliver optimum temperature and humidity up to 25 minutes.
1Blackie, C. A., Korb, D. R., Schubert, J. R., Murakami, D. K., & FAAO, O. M. (2015). Using warm compresses to treat meibomian gland disease.
2 Lemp, M. A., Crews, L. A., Bron, A. J., Foulks, G. N., & Sullivan, B. D. (2012). Distribution of aqueous-deficient and evaporative dry eye in a clinic-based patient cohort: a retrospective study. Cornea, 31(5), 472-478.
3Blackie, C. A., Solomon, J. D., Greiner, J. V., Holmes, M., & Korb, D. R. (2008). Inner eyelid surface temperature as a function of warm compress methodology. Optometry & Vision Science, 85(8), 675-683.
4Olson, M. C., Korb, D. R., & Greiner, J. V. (2003). Increase in tear film lipid layer thickness following treatment with warm compresses in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction. Eye & contact lens, 29(2), 96-99
5Korb, D. R., Greiner, J. V., Glonek, T., Esbah, R., Finnemore, V. M., & Whalen, A. C. (1996). Effect of periocular humidity on the tear film lipid layer. Cornea, 15(2), 129-134.
6 Geerling, G., Tauber, J., Baudouin, C., Goto, E., Matsumoto, Y., O'Brien, T., ... & Nichols, K. K. (2011). The international workshop on meibomian gland dysfunction: report of the subcommittee on management and treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 52(4), 2050-2064.
7 Baudouin, C., Messmer, E. M., Aragona, P., Geerling, G., Akova, Y. A., Benítez-del-Castillo, J., ... & Labetoulle, M. (2016). Revisiting the vicious circle of dry eye disease: a focus on the pathophysiology of meibomian gland dysfunction. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 100(3), 300-306.