Hello, my name is John Waddington and I am a director at Eyewear Accessories.
I suffer from dry eyes caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
My dry eye symptoms have worsened in recent months to the point that I struggle with computer use for any prolonged period and hate being outdoors in the wind.
My eyes feel sore as soon as I wake up in the morning and throughout the day they feel as if someone has punched me in the face! My vision is often blurry for much of the time that I am awake because my tears don't lubricate my eyes properly.
After a recommendation from one of our dry eye customers, I have been trialling Blephasteam over the last week and this is my experience of the product so far.
It's all in a name!
Blephasteam has been on my radar for a few years, but I was put off buying it because of the price tag and the look of the goggles. There was also the product name which to me conjured up a Victorian invention involving clouds of steam!
As regards the product name, I can reassure you that the temperature in the goggles is gentle and that clouds of steam are not involved. It's actually rather a soothing, relaxing experience and neither the heat (regulated at 42° C) nor the moisture are unpleasant.
The goggles are actually reasonably comfortable to wear and you only have them on for 10 minutes per session. As for the product name, when you think about it, it reflects what it does pretty accurately.
Blephasteam in use
The process of using Blephasteam is straightforward enough once you've got used to it. In my experience, it gets easier once you've tried it a couple of times.
First you have to warm up the goggles to the preset temperature that is ideal for unclogging the Meibomian glands. This takes 15 minutes after plugging in the device and pressing the On button.
I would have appreciated a beep to indicate that the goggles are warmed up but instead the On light changes from amber to green.
When you're ready to go, take two Blephasteam paper rings and moisten them. Insert them inside the goggles. They are shaped to fit exactly into each eye cup.
Next put on the goggles, adjust the strap to your head size if necessary, and once they are comfortable (not too tight), press the On button. The On light starts flashing green to indicate that the therapy has started.
Sit in a comfortable place for 10 minutes wearing the goggles, during which time you will experience a gentle warmth and a moist atmosphere as the water in the Blephasteam rings evaporates.
At the end of the 10-minute therapy, the device will beep. This indicates that it is time to take off the goggles. As soon as you can, massage gently your top and bottom eyelid, with up and down strokes. Do this for about 30 seconds.
Now unplug the Blephasteam and discard the used rings. You will need fresh rings for each therapy.
How did it feel during the 10-minute therapy?
I felt a bit self-conscious wearing the goggles, but I reasoned that as long as they worked, my appearance didn't matter, especially as I use them at home!
I found the goggles to be comfortable enough, especially once I had adjusted the head strap. The process of inserting the paper rings into each eye cup was a bit fiddly, but you would probably find it okay as long as you have reasonably good dexterity.
The 10-minute session with Blephasteam was a pleasant and relaxing experience. The lenses didn't mist up, so I was able to sit in an armchair and look at my tablet.
Equally you would be able to watch TV during the therapy or sit at your PC if you needed to carry on working - as long as you sit fairly near to a mains socket to power the Blephasteam.
The first few times that I used Blephasteam I experienced a slight stinging sensation in the corners of my eyes but that went away quickly.
I enjoyed the sensation of the therapy and, as soon as I took off the goggles, my eyes definitely felt fresher and more moisturised.
Massaging your eyelids takes a bit of practice to get the action right, but if you've been used to an MGD eye bag, you're probably practised in doing this anyway.
After using the Blephasteam, I got up and walked around to assess whether there had been any noticeable change in my vision or eye comfort.
And yes, the improvement in my eyes was noticeable and longer lasting than after using an eye bag. They felt fresher and pleasantly lubricated and my blurry vision had gone away.
Later on the same day, I went on a bike ride (in very windy conditions) wearing my moisture chamber glasses and I am writing this blog post 4 hours later. In all that time, my eyes have felt comfortable and sufficiently moisturised. Quite a contrast from the temporary relief gained by putting eye drops in.
After a week
After a week of using Blephasteam once in the morning and once at the end of the working day, my dry eye sympoms have improved.
I believe that you may also find it helpful if you are suffering from dry eyes or blepharitis through MGD or through Sjogren's Syndrome. For Blephasteam to continue to help your eyes, you must of course keep using it regularly.
I cannot predict for definite that Blephasteam will help your eye condition, but for me it has proved worthwhile. There are many research studies that also endorse its effectiveness with a range of dry eye patients.
Blephasteam and moisture chamber glasses are a useful combination
My recommendation for more comfortable eyes would be to use a pair of moisture chamber glasses as well as Blephasteam.
Why? Because while the Blephasteam gives your eyes a boost morning and evening, the glasses reinforce the benefit of Blephasteam therapy by conserving your tears and keeping your eyes moisturised throughout the day.
In my opinion, the two products complement each other to give you an effective drug free home treatment for keeping on top of your dry eye symptoms.
How to order your own Blephasteam
The good news is that Blephasteam units are back in stock and available to purchase. To find out more about the product and order one if you wish, click the Blephasteam link on our website.
I do not claim to be an eye doctor, just an ordinary person suffering from dry eyes. And while Blephasteam and moisture chamber glasses have been proven to help many people improve their quality of life, neither claims to be a cure for dry eyes. It is always recommended that your eye condition is monitored by an experienced ophthalmologist.