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Warm Compresses for Eye Problems

Topic Overview

Warmth may relieve pain, relax muscle spasms, increase circulation, and help heal a wound or other problems that affect the eye.

For an eye problem, use either of the following methods:

  • Dry warmth. Place a protective layer of fabric between a warm compress and the skin. Heating pads and hot water bottles can be used on larger surfaces needing heat.
  • Moist warmth. Towels or washcloths can be soaked in warm water, wrung out, and placed on the area. Moist warmth is more effective in relieving muscle pain than dry warmth.

Commercial hot packs are not recommended. They are often too heavy and bulky to use near the eye. Also, if a commercial hot pack leaks, chemicals from the bag might get in the eye.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised January 25, 2013

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