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  • Warm compresses increased inflammation

    Hi everyone,
    I have blepharitis and MGD. I do not have rosacea or anything like that. I've been doing compresses morning and night follwed by ocusoft lid scrub. I did the compress for about 10 minutes but for the past couple weeks I've only been doing them for 5.
    Lately in the past week I feel that the compresses are making the inflammation worse. After I'm done the compresses, my eyelids have been a bit swollen and red veins in my eyelids are visable...also, I increased my intake of omega 3 adding fish oil supplements to my diet about 2 weeks ago (i already take flaxseed) ...i don't know if thats just coincidence..
    should I take a break from the compresses and stick with a small lid scrub? or stop both for a few days?? All help is appreciated Thank you!
    Last edited by mary108; 13-Nov-2011, 08:49.

  • #2
    What you describe could simply be the result of the blood vessels dilating in response to the heat. Think about your fingers or feet on a very hot day or after spending time in a sauna or hot tub. They swell a bit. Vasodilation can result in temporary swelling and prominence of the vessels. Check to make sure that the compresses are not too hot. If the swelling is just brief after applying the compresses, I would not worry too much but would mention it to your eye doctor at your next visit or give the office a call. If the swelling lasts longer than an hour or two, tends to be increasing over time and/or your DES symptoms in general are getting worse, make an appointment with your eye doctor. Take care.
    Every day with DES is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're going to get.

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    • #3
      I find that warm compresses do make my lids redder and more inflamed so I'm on and off with the warm compresses. It's helped a lot since I stopped using warm or hot compresses (for a bit, I mistakenly thought hotter was better). One of my doctors suggested following the warm compress with cold green tea bags. I don't usually have the time in the morning to do both but I do use green tea bags if I've been crying tearless cries or if I have a lot of inflammation for other reasons and they are helpful.

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      • #4
        Mary, This is similar to our experience. We need a nice warm compress daily purely to keep the MGs healthy, even just a flannel in a warm shower, and if we stop too long we get clogging problems of chronic bleph.

        But we miss a few when the eyelid conjunctiva are red and the eye surface looks a bit inflamed. It's difficult because these times we also can't see clear meibom but obviously heat on inflammation, not good. The inflammation flareup is controlled quickly because we use a steroid drop, then resume warm compress maybe day 2 or 3.

        I am liking the green tea bag idea and we will try it. Also been suggested we keep some bland tear drops (Celluvisc, for us) in the fridge. LM says this feels lovely on red eye days.

        It's v interesting that our docs are now defining this MGD as 'hypersensitivity'. LM is obviously hypersensitive to Staph but I am working again on eliminating chemicals from her environment, esp detergents and bathroom products. She also gets red conjunctiva, eye surface and under eyelid, with eg common cold virus. Also if we overdo it with oil supplements, for some reason. I always felt the detergent in lid scrubs made the pH wrong and broke up any lipids she did have in the tear film but then we do use an antibacterial drop 2/wk for this for occasionally infected MGD. I know the detergents are useful for obstructed MGD. This info any use for you?

        Hope they look after you well at your appointment. Maybe tell him you are having difficulty knowing how to self-manage this. Ask if he sees dots on the cornea, tell him if you've got any signs of photophobia eg in bright lights at school. We are looking for signs of cornea damage that suggest it may not be well managed. In which case, need to find someone who will manage it well (the 'psychosomatic' thing is still rankling). Have you been to Wills Eye Clinic yet?
        Last edited by littlemermaid; 14-Nov-2011, 05:38.
        Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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        • #5
          ASPIRIN for the inflammation? After reading here yesterday about cold compresses instead of possible chemical burn from artificial tears, I tried an ice cub compress several times and also aspirin, and lo and behold my eyes did feel lots better upon arising this morning. Still have some crusty stuff in corner of worst eye. Can someone remind me what that means?

          And my vision has been affected by several things, more and more since 06 cataract surgery, have also had a lot of laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and Kenalog injections, which I finally read can make you blind. In exchange for all the help here, and just because I don't want this to happen to anyone else, NEVER let them inject Kenalog for inflammation/swelling, assuming you can't be more sensitive to it than the majority. Especially if you're hypo-thyroid, it may never completely drain out. They'd assume your thyroid medication is working fine, but there's "Thyroid Resistance" and probably other factors that count.

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          • #6
            I am experiencing problems with hot compresses too!! My lids are very swollen in the AM and by the time I go to bed they look almost normal. Is this common?? I do the warm compresses, lid scrubs etc. in the PM and cold compresses in the AM because of the swelling. I can't seem to get a handle on this and am in an active flare-up right now. I have lots of drops etc. and am confused as to what to use when!! My doctor finally saw me when the lids were inflamed and gave me Bacitracin ointment and that seems to make things worse!!

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            • #7
              I dont think the warm compresses are for everybody. Some people it works great, others it seems just causes more inflamation, ...imho...or at least for me. Even though it feels so yummy while its on...afterward it made me worse!

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              • #8
                Thanks for mentioning that Regina . . .I have wondered about the effectivenesshot compresses for some time. It seems to be the standard prescription out there for MGD.

                I would think that if you already have thin secretions, there would not be any point to applying heat, as the purpose of the heat is to thin the secretions. Some of us with MGD have thin secretions, just not enough or not of good quality. I'd like to know what can improve the quality and quantity?

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                • #9
                  Try cold compresses

                  I used to use hot compresses and would literally burn the skin around my eye. My doc had me try cold compresses and they have worked magically. I apply ice packs to my eyes for 5 minutes 2 x day. Try it. Cold reduces inflammation.

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                  • #10
                    I do warm compresses twice a day (once if running late, but that only happens about once a week). I've been doing them for such a long time now that they've just become a part of my routine and I don't really think about it too much. It feels really soothing, and although my eyes get quite red while doing the compresses, they don't stay that way. I think I'm just going to stick with it. I don't know if it's actually helping, but it feels great and I guess only time will tell :-)

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