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The best dry eyes masks in 2022

woman wearing a dry eye mask

The best eye masks for dry eyes in 2022

Do you have burning, itchy, sore eyes? There may be an easy way to get relief at home: Put on a dry eye mask. Dry eye syndrome (dry eyes) is a common condition with a wide variety of causes, including aging, air travel, contact lens wear, LASIK and too much time in a dry indoor environment.

Looking for relief? Discover how dry eye masks work and the best eye masks for dry eyes on the market.

Getting relief for dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common eye issue that can cause a really uncomfortable feeling known as “foreign body sensation” — it’s a gritty feeling similar to getting dust or sand in your eye.

Other symptoms of dry eye may include:

Dry eye syndrome can also lead to inflammation and may cause long-term damage, including scarring on the surface of the eyes. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye, it’s important to see your eye doctor right away. These symptoms can also be caused by the result of an eye infection or other eye conditions. 

There are a variety of treatments for dry eyes. For example, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops or even punctal plugs — devices placed in your tear ducts to slow the draining of tears. They may even recommend an in-office treatment.

There also are a number of dry eye home remedies your eye care professional may suggest. For example, it may help to take frequent breaks from screens, use a humidifier and wear a dry eye mask to soothe your eyes.

What is a dry eye mask?

A dry eye mask is a face mask designed to be worn over the eyes to treat dry, sore, irritated eyes. There are several types of eye masks for dry eyes, including heated eye masks for dry eyes and dry eye sleep masks.

A dry eye mask can:

  • Act as a warm soothing compress for the eyes

  • Protect your eyes from air conditioning and fans

  • Warm the natural oils in your eyes for better lubrication

Eye care professionals often recommend eye protection and warm compresses for dry eye syndrome, and different types of dry eye masks can provide both benefits.

How does a heated eye mask for dry eyes work?

Some patients who have dry eyes have meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). In fact, MGD plays a part in many cases of dry eye.

In MGD, eye inflammation can cause the meibomian glands, which produce the oil (meibum) in your tears, to get clogged. To relieve MGD symptoms, eye doctors often recommend using warm compresses or heated dry eye masks.

A heated mask for dry eyes works like this:

  • The mask warms the oil in your meibomian glands

  • The heat thins the oil, loosening clogs in the glands

  • Oil can then flow out of the glands and into the tear film

  • The tear film, made of oil, liquid and mucus-like secretions, moistens the eyes

A heated dry eye mask may work better than a washcloth moistened with warm water. That’s because you need to apply heat of about 108 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes to thin the meibum in the eyes. A wet washcloth cannot supply appropriate heat for this long.

Best heated eye mask for dry eyes

The best heated mask for dry eyes depends on your needs and situation. For example, do you want a dry eye mask that can be heated in the microwave for use as a warm compress? Or do you need a mask you can take with you on the go?

Here are two top dry eye masks, as well as the pros and cons of each:

1. Bruder Moist Heat Eye Compress – The Bruder Moist Heat Eye Compress is made of cloth and designed to be heated in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. It is then applied to the eyes for eight to 10 minutes according to your eye doctor’s instructions. The mask is self-hydrating, so you won’t need to add water. You can choose a mask that covers one or both eyes.

Pros:

  • Easy to use if you have a microwave

  • No additional accessories to buy with mask

  • One mask should last for several months

Cons:

  • Requires access to a microwave so may not be ideal for certain types of travel

2. EyeGiene Eye Mask – The EyeGiene Eye Mask is a cloth dry eye mask made to be used with EyeGiene InstaWarmth warming “wafer” inserts. To use the mask, you take a wafer out of its foil pouch and put it in the pocket of the mask. It takes about 10 minutes for the mask to reach target temperature, and it stays warm for at least 10 more minutes.

Pros:

  • Easy to use when you don’t have access to a microwave

  • Designed to reach and maintain ideal temperature for treating dry eyes

Cons:

  • Cost, due to the need to regularly purchase warming “wafer” inserts

Both of these masks are recommended by eye doctors and have positive reviews.

Do you need a dry eye sleep mask?

Some patients with dry eye syndrome use a dry eye sleep mask at night or during naps. A dry eye sleep mask may work well for patients with dry eye who:

  • Experience nighttime eye irritation due to leaking air from a CPAP machine or similar device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea

  • Sleep under a fan or near a drafts from air conditioning unit that dries out the eyes at night

If you need a dry eye sleep mask, you may want to consider the Eyeseals 4.0 Hydrating Sleep Mask from Eye Eco. This goggle-style sleep mask for dry eyes is made from a flexible medical grade plastic and is designed to protect your eyes from drafts and dry air at night. 

To use this dry eye sleep mask, you adjust the strap for a secure fit, then mist the insides of the mask with Eye Eco’s Unscented Soothing Eye Mist. The mist helps to keep your eyes moist while you sleep.

See your eye doctor

Do you worry that your tired eyes could be a sign of dry eye? See your eye doctor for a checkup right away. Eye care professionals can recommend a variety of dry eye treatments that may help you get relief from this uncomfortable eye condition.

Treating dry eye at home. Ophthalmology Management. September 2019.

Eyeseals 4.0 Hydrating Sleep Mask. EyeCo. Accessed September 2021.

Bruder Moist Heat Eye Compress. Bruder. Accessed September 2021.

Frequently asked questions about the EyeGiene Insta-Warmth System. EyeGiene. Accessed September 2021.

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