Dry Eye Care

One of the newest trends in dry eye care today is the integration of heat application to the eyes with the use of artificial tears, gel drops, and lubricating eye ointments. For generations, people have known the application of warm compresses to the eyes provides a tremendous sense of relief and comfort from dry, irritated eyes, but this exercise has always been a second or a third line of treatment. For interesting reasons, the recommendation of dietary supplements (fish oil & omega-3 fatty acids) has even been thrown around by eye care professionals who just didn’t find the lubricants sufficient. The problem is that some patients who we label as having “dry eyes” aren’t “dry” at all, and some even state that their eyes are always tearful and “full of water…” ocular surface specialists know that the lack of the aqueous layer (water) in our tears is sometimes not the cause of dry eyes, rather, it’s the “quality” of the tears that’s inadequate for proper maintenance of the corneal surface health. Anyone who takes care of people’s eyes knows that those we label as having “dry eyes” have erosions on the bottom part of their corneas (sort of like getting “chapped lips”), and the interesting thing is that that’s actually where the tears pool and we have the MOST water in our eyes. eye So there’s clearly something else we need to prevent our tears from drying: OIL. The outermost layer of our tears is made of a uniform layer of oil which prevents our natural tears from drying, and simply by increasing the amount of oil in our tears, we are able to really help people who suffer from chronic dry eyes feel a significant in their symptoms. This is why there is a great new interest in the heating the eyelid business: it improves the amount of oil in our tears, by a quite significant amount. A recent study at the Schepens Eye Institute at Harvard showed an 80% increase in the human tear layer 5 minutes after the application of warm compresses to the eyelids, and an additional 20% after 15 minutes of treatment. (Eye Contact Lens. 2003 Apr;29(2):96-9. Olson, et al., Schepens Eye Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA). This is a huge improvement. Until now, this exercise of applying heat to the eyes has consisted of people using warm tea-bags, hot towels, boiled eggs/potatoes, hot “spoons,” and microwave-heated gel-masks, all of which, share the same 5 things in common: ¥ They’re very inconvenient to use ¥ They’re not very hygienic ¥ They can potentially burn the delicate eyelid skin ¥ They lose heat within seconds ¥ The amount of heat and the duration of heat application varies every time ¥ For the first time in history, there is now a logical, hygienic, and convenient means to achieve the best outcomes for people who suffer from such common conditions. Eye-press™ addresses all of these issues in one convenient, hygienic package: It combines a simple, natural, self-heating chemical reactor that provides steady-state heat to the eyelids at a set temperature that will not harm the delicate eyelid skin, and a soft, lint-free, medical-grade wipe material that is pre-moistened with a hypo-allergenic baby shampoo and lavender extract that cleans the eyelids and soothes irritated eyes. The device is also equipped with a patented butterfly handle that will make it easy for the user to massage his/her affected eyelid(s) with the product to gently wash off the bacteria residing on the eyelashes and help unclog the oily eyelid pores (meibomian glands) and melt away styes or chalazia. For the first time in history, there is finally a convenient, hygienic product that makes applying heat to the eyelids a standard exercise, and by naturally controlling the maximum temperature and duration of the heat reaction, a safe alternative to the usual tea-bags and hot towels that are so commonly prescribed by eye-care professionals around the world.