A simple idea to slow down tear evaporation
First, a simple way to slow down the evaporation of your tears so that your eyes stay more lubricated throughout the day.
As anyone who has worn swimming goggles, ski goggles, or dive masks will know, the more that the goggles enclose your eyes, the more the lenses will mist up.
How moisture chamber glasses evolved
Panoptx (later renamed 7eye) turned this tendency of protective eyewear to mist up into a positive by developing moisture chamber glasses.
Different models look either like wraparound sunglasses or like standard prescription glasses with the addition of a discreet gasket around the inner rims (see our Product overview). The gasket (also called an eye cup) largely seals your eyes from wind, dust, and pollen, and helps to maintain a humid atmosphere in each eye chamber..
Fast forward to 2020 and the design of moisture chamber glasses has evolved so that they have become more comfortable, more aesthetically pleasing, and less liable to mist up.
Moisture chamber glasses have been available for at least a decade and over this time have proven themselves to be effective in minimising dry eye symptoms throughout the day. They can be worn safely all day or used selectively whenever there is a specific need, such as when using a computer or watching TV.
Many eye specialists now recommend patients to wear moisture chamber glasses as part of their ongoing therapy for dry eyes. They not only help with dry eyes, but also with associated issues such as blepharitis and photophobia.
A simple idea to improve tear quality
The second idea came from UK eye specialist, Dr John Fuller, who noticed after spending time in a steam room that his vision was remarkably clear and his eyes felt very comfortable.
Out of this simple discovery came a prototype for a device that replicated the warm and moist atmosphere of the steam room so as to deliver an effective eyelid therapy. This prototype Blephasteam was tested successfully in clinical trials at Dorset County Hospital, where Dr Fuller was a consultant ophthalmic surgeon.
These trials demonstrated that tear quality can actually be improved by the simple application of gentle heat and moisture.
Why is tear quality significant?
Around 80% of dry eye sufferers have a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
If you have MGD (as does John from Eyewear Accessories, the author of this article) you are usually able to make enough tears, but of poor quality so they evaporate more quickly, resulting in redness, irritation, dryness, a gritty sensation or itchiness.
How can you make Meibomian glands operate better so that the patient's tears don't evaporate so fast? Well, Dr Fuller discovered that a combination of gentle heat and mist can melt the waxy deposits that build up on the surface of the eyelids which can then be washed away by tears or wiped off manually.
Ophthalmologists also discovered that if a patient massages their eyelids for a short time after heat therapy, their Meibomian glands are stimulated.
One of the mainstays of MGD therapy has been the MGD eyebag. This bag containing flax is warmed up in a microwave for 30 seconds and rested over the patient's closed eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. The patient then massages their eyelids to stimulate their Meibomian glands.
How Blephasteam evolved
Laboratoires Théa, a leading ophthalmology company, took on the development and manufacture of Blephasteam to make it a commercially available product.
Blephasteam is the first convenient eyelid warming device recommended by ophthalmologists to relieve symptoms of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and associated diseases such as posterior blepharitis, meibomitis, ocular rosacea, chalazion, contact lens intolerance, and dry eye.
It consists of a goggle that is warmed by the Blephasteam device to the ideal temperature and then, after inserting a moistened Blephasteam ring into each eye cup, is worn by the patient for 10 minutes.
During this time, the perfect mix of warmth and humidity works gently to unblock the Meibomian glands and, when combined with a short period of eye lid massage, stimulates the glands to produce more, better tears.
Research has proven conclusively that Blephasteam is much more effective than the MGD eye bag at achieving improvements in tear quality because it maintains the perfect heat consistently during the 10-minute therapy and because it also creates the humidity factor that makes unblocking the Meibomian glands more effective.
Here then are two dry eye therapies available from Eyewear Accessories that are grounded in simple everyday observations but which have been progressively refined to become an effective part of the daily treatment of dry eye syndrome, MGD, blepharitis and many other related ocular symptoms.
Tried and tested over many years, these therapies are safe, convenient, easy to use and to incorporate into your daily routine. They don't involve chemicals, drugs, or surgery.
Why not try them for yourself and start making life with dry eye syndrome more bearable? We offer free returns on all UK orders of 7eye and Ziena Eyewear glasses and sunglasses. We are also offering free UK delivery on Blephasteam, so there is little to lose.
Note from Eyewear Accessories Ltd
We are not claiming that moisture chamber glasses and Blephasteam are cures for dry eye syndrome. However, time has shown them to be highly effective tools for managing the condition in many adults and for improving their comfort and quality of life.
These products may not be suitable for everyone with dry eye or related conditions. If in doubt, always get advice from your eye specialist.