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HomeminewsWarm Compresses, IPL Subject of Research Review

Warm Compresses, IPL Subject of Research Review

Most eyelid warming devices recommended by health professionals to improve signs and symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) are effective and generally safe to use, according to a review of 58 human clinical studies, published by Dovepress.1

MGD occurs when the meibomian glands are obstructed or inflamed, causing meibum secretion to either decrease or alter. This results in deficiencies in the tear film lipid layer, contributing to increased evaporation and destabilisation of the tear film.

Not only do they improve the effectiveness of delivering heat and pressure to the eyelids, they also allow for sustained clinical improvements with a single treatment

Patients are often advised to apply heat and/or pressure to the eyelids, to help liquify and increase outflow of meibum into the tear film.

Several medical devices have been developed to do this, ranging from warm eye coverings, devices that direct heat and/or pressure to the eyelids, moisture chamber goggles, and light-based therapy.

The researchers reviewed 58 eligible studies published on PubMed, some of which had examined multiple treatment types, (these were duplicated across the different treatment modalities, giving a total of 62 studies).

Due to the variety in clinical testing and reporting, where possible, they collapsed the clinical outcomes into three categories:
• Improved symptoms, where participants demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in any symptom assessment metric, e.g., Ocular Surface Disease Index, Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dry, visual analogue scores, or other surveys,
• Improved tear stability, where participants demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in non-invasive or invasive tear breakup time. and
• Improved meibomian gland function, where participants demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in meibomian gland obstruction, meibum quality, expressibility, meibography, and lid margin features.

Having concluded the review they reported, “In summary, there are a variety of eyelid warming devices in the peer-reviewed literature that address the deficiencies of the classical warm cloth/towel compress. Not only do they improve the effectiveness of delivering heat and pressure to the eyelids, they also allow for sustained clinical improvements with a single treatment. Additionally, some newer devices using light and electromagnetic therapy can directly influence meibomian gland metabolic function; however, their precise mechanism has yet to be determined.”

The review is available to read here.

Reference
1. Bzovey B, Ngo W. Eyelid Warming Devices: Safety, Efficacy, and Place in Therapy. Clin Optom (Auckl). 2022;14:133-147
https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTO.S350186