When your eyes become irritated, seeking relief can instantly become the only thing on your mind. There are a lot of different remedies out there, but one that is often overlooked are eye compresses. They offer a wide variety of benefits from erasing the strain of fatigue to aiding those who have more serious conditions.
If you have never heard of these before or are looking to learn more about them, you’ve come to the right place! This article will tell you everything you need to know about these products from their uses, to their multiple benefits, and everywhere in-between.
What Are Eye Compresses?
These masks are used to provide heat and the slightest amount of pressure to the eyes to provide relief from various problems and irritations that cause discomfort. Coming in a wide variety of shapes and designs, they can be made from fabric or gel. Alternatively, you can also make your own using a few household objects.
Some of these masks are electric, just like a heating pad, while others need to be heated. Depending on what you would want to use one for, you may choose a disposable version or a reusable one.
Think of them as a regular sleep mask, but with some upgraded features that can rejuvenate and heal your eyes.
What Are They Used For?
Eye compresses are used to provide relief from irritation, dryness, and redness in the eyes. They can help those who suffer from allergies and infections, or larger problems like blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and dermatitis. These products are also beneficial for simple causes like contact lenses and fatigue, too.
Your eyes are delicate organs, and you should always have any recurring discomforts examined by an optometrist or doctor. However, and these masks can be used in conjunction with prescription medications to better alleviate any pain you may experience.
The History Behind Them
This form of heat therapy dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks. While they may not have had the luxury of thermal pads, they did utilize steaming baths to achieve a similar effect.
Even back then, people knew that hot water was an excellent method of relaxation as well as a great way to remove blemishes and increase circulation. They also used warm and cold-water baths to treat ailments from inflammation to bringing down fevers.
The Romans were also fans of cold baths as they found them to be highly stimulating and increase the appetite. Their method of alternating hot and cold baths would turn out to help treat injured muscles and increase healthy circulation.
Today we can target specific areas with pads and masks to avoid the discomfort of freezing or scorching water on our entire bodies, which is far more beneficial for relieving pain.
What Benefits Do They Offer?
Warmth is something that the human body finds soothing. Much like you might use a heating pad to help heal the muscles in a hurting back or to stop muscle spasms in a leg, you can do the same for your eyes. While that might sound a little out of the ordinary, there is a science behind it.
Eye compresses offer two types of warmth, with the first being moist warmth. The concept is the same as soaking a cloth in warm water and laying it over the eyes. The second type is dry warmth, much like you would experience from a hot water bottle wrapped in fabric.
Wet warmth can help those with blepharitis and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction to loosen the debris that forms around the eyes. Unlike those “sleepies” you might find in the corner of your eye when waking up, the debris from these conditions can be incredibly painful to remove by hand.
Dry warmth can help those with Dry Eye Syndrome by encouraging their tear ducts and glands on the eyelids to produce more lipids. This helps their tears to become more oily, or wet, keeping the eye properly moisturized.
Both of these types of warmth can help you if you have a sty. The heat increases blood flow to the affected area, which allows the body to heal itself better.
They can also be beneficial for anyone looking for relief from a headache, puffy eyes, and anyone looking for a remedy to tired eyes from a long day at the office.
A cold compress can also have several benefits for your eyes. The frigid temperature helps to alleviate swelling and itching from allergies, as well as any bruises around the eye. Just make sure that your mask isn’t so cold that it becomes uncomfortable, that could have the opposite effect that you’re looking for.
Who Is This Product Made For?
This product is made for anyone looking for relief from the various conditions and causes of eye pain. Whether you simply strain your eyes all day staring at a computer screen for work or have a more problematic condition like blepharitis, these eye compresses can make symptoms more manageable while relieving the dryness and irritation associated with them.
While these masks are made for anyone to use, certain products are made for more specific purposes. For instance, those with conjunctivitis may want to use a disposable pad version to avoid cross-contamination while someone looking for relief from Dry Eye Syndrome might benefit better from a reusable mask.
Depending on what you would want to use your mask for, it is important to consider wet and dry warmth options. Not every mask offers both, which could leave you stuck with a product that simply doesn’t help your problem.
You will also want your mask to be as comfortable as possible. Chances are you will be laying down for an extended period while wearing it, making it easier to notice the minor discomforts a mask might have. Something too uncomfortable can defeat the purpose of the treatment altogether.
Once you have decided on the best option for your situation, you can finally experience the relief you’ve so desperately needed.