Warm Soaks and Lid Scrubs
This treatment is used to improve tear quality. Tears are made of three layers, the mucus, aqueous (water-like) and lipid (fat-like) portion. The goal of this treatment is to improve tear quality by opening the blocked glands with heat and scrubs that change the lipids in the tear glands from a “toothpaste-like” consistency to one that is more like baby oil. The lipid layer covers the aqueous layer and prevents tear evaporation. Often when one layer of the tears is deficient, the eye will compensate with adding aqueous (water layer) because that is the only layer that the eye can control. This adds confusion to the diagnosis since the root of a watery eye may be a dry eye.
1. Wash your hands with soap and water, rinse well and dry them.
2. Warm soaks:
i. Use a clean washcloth
ii. Run the water in your sink or washbasin until it is hot but not burning /scalding to the touch.
iii. Soak the washcloth with the water and wring it out strongly so that the cloth is still hot and moist but not dripping.
iv. Apply the cloth to the eye region and hold it there until it begins to cool. Repeat step iii.
v. Apply warm soaks to your eye(s) for 10 minutes.
3. While looking in a mirror, use the commercial product LID CARE or Ocusoft Lid Scrub. Scrub the base of the lashes with the towelette. Be careful not to scratch your eye accidentally.
4. Lubricate the eyes with two drops of artificial tears four times a day to replenish the tears. Use Refresh Ultra or Systane Ultra brand.
5. Use ointment at night to supply extra hydration. (e.g. Lacrilube or equivalent)
6. Dry eyes can benefit from a natural supplement of Omega 3
7. Be mindful of forced air that dried the eyes e.g. fans, car heaters/air conditioners etc. Try to keep them from blowing directly on the face.
Repeat this procedure 2 times a day for two weeks. Repeat 1-2 times a week to continue to maximize the gland function.