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Can you damage your cornea with hot compresses?

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  • Can you damage your cornea with hot compresses?

    This is something I'm worried about, because I've been getting problems with my vision lately my doc can't explain. Ghosting and blurring mostly. I wonder if anyone on this board ever had any permanent visual problems, because of the hot compresses and massage.
    I know that some manuals state that you should use th compresses as hot as you can tolerate without burning yourself. Others say, you shouldn't be over 45C, which is a big difference imho. I can easily tolerate up to 50C with my gel mask and probably more.
    Last edited by wissen1; 28-Jun-2017, 09:01.

  • #2
    Bumping this thread. Anyone noticing increased high order aberrations due to warm compress treatment or is this just coincidence for me? I remember some people saying they did the warm compresses so hot they even burned their skin on the lids.
    I remember more ghost images appearing in my vision around the time I started doing warm compresses twice daily. But the inflammation was also at a highpoint at this time.
    So any experiences here?

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    • #3
      Hi there,

      I think its about doing it with a little common sense. If they are using compresses so hot they burnt their skin, they are doing something. With that being said, I made a topic myself about the safety of compresses. I'm not sure about cornea but everything is connected so possibly. My doctors told me to watch out due to the increase in inflammation it causes. Obviously that inflammation will affect the eye and therefore cornea itself so maybe it can. I went from doing Compresses 2x a day to 2x a week.

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      • #4
        Hi wissen1, how's your vision now? Hot compress & massage have caused me irregular astigmatism for both eyes since May/June 2017.

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        • #5
          In my experience, you definitely can have problems with compresses that are too hot. My vision was very blurry and I was dizzy until I figured it out but fortunately, it did not have any permanent effects. I had been making the rice baggies much too hot which I have now corrected. One of the many compresses I use is an electric one purchased at www.heatedeyepad.com. The scientific research supports proper heat at approximately 104 degrees F. (which doesn't feel very hot) for optimal benefit.

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          • #6
            I read an study saying that too hot compresses can cause pseudo-keratoconus and corneal warpage. The study was done with hot boiled eggs, which apparently some people use instead of rice baggies or gel packs. So, I'm not sure how relevant it is for us. I mean, boiled eggs are quite firm and also convex...they don't exactly mold to the shape of the eye. That said, my concern was piqued, as I use hot compresses up to 40 minutes a day. My opthomologist and oculopastic surgeon (who treats my chalazions and MGD) both thought compresses were very safe and dismissed any worries about corneal damage.

            I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on this. Please chime in!

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            • #7
              Also, my vision can be blurry after hot compresses. My doc says it's the oil being released or temporary vision changes from having pressure on the eye. In my case, he wasn't worried.

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              • #8
                To ginnyk:

                I had the same thought of hot compress should be safe as it's widely being adopted by doctors. When I saw the ophthalmologist last May, he suggested to use Bruder mask to melt down thick oils for my MGD problem; and he applied one hot compress during my visit session. The nurse who applied the hot compress asked me push the mask against my eye and massage during the session.

                I followed that approach at home for few weeks, then I started noticing shadow for my right eye that had worst problem at that time. However, the hot compress was continued, but with more care, until I started noticing shadow in my left eye.... During the following up session, the ophthalmologist didn't know what caused the shadow and even sent me for a ocular CT scan.....

                Until later September, I realized that my vision problem was caused by the hot compress and massage after I went through all my medical records, analyzed my cornea topography and googled related research papers. Later on, that was confirmed by another ophthalmologist in the same clinic...

                The heat and massage had deformed my corneal shape spherically and led to irregular astigmatism. Now I have to decide to go for either RGP, laser surgery or leave it as is...


                If you have to apply hot compress, I would suggest you to do it locally, DO NOT mess up(massage/rub) with your top eyelid during or after hot compress, which is how I got my cornea changed....

                Here are some links, you can definitely find more...
                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22309634
                https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/ar...rong-way-43097
                https://www.academia.edu/13773388/Wa...e_With_Massage
                https://www.academia.edu/13773386/Th...al_deformation

                Last edited by rqliang; 25-Jan-2018, 22:01.

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                • #9
                  OMG was it permanent!! Why are there no warnings about this, that's terrible. You try to fix one problem and create another....yesh!

                  I have always understood that the compress should not be really hot, like thirstyeyes said 104 degrees doesn't feel very hot.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by farmgirl View Post
                    OMG was it permanent!! Why are there no warnings about this, that's terrible. You try to fix one problem and create another....yesh!

                    I have always understood that the compress should not be really hot, like thirstyeyes said 104 degrees doesn't feel very hot.
                    My problem was that the Bredur mask was microwaved too hot - 25-30 seconds by a 700W microwave oven, everything was followed the instruction....

                    Also, the first application completed by the nurse set a "standard/precedence " for me....

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                    • #11
                      I am so sorry that this has happened to you

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by farmgirl View Post
                        I am so sorry that this has happened to you
                        This is why I joined the forum to let people know hot compress can cause damage; and I don't want the same **** happen to other dry eyes or MGD patients. 

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                        • #13
                          Many ophthalmologists are still recommending compresses to be "as hot as you can tolerate them" ... this is dangerous (and so frustrating)!!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thirstyeyes View Post
                            Many ophthalmologists are still recommending compresses to be "as hot as you can tolerate them" ... this is dangerous (and so frustrating)!!!
                            I'm now just wondering how I can make more people be aware of this risk...

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