The application of a thermal bag improved dry eye-related symptoms, according to an investigation published in Journal Français d’Ophthamologie. While the researchers found improvements for all patients, only participants between 18 and 31 years old had improved noninvasive keratography break-up times (NIKBUT) and lipid layer thicknesses.

A total of 60 volunteers were recruited at the University of Valencia in Spain. Participants had at least 1 dry eye-related symptom. Every day for 2 weeks, participants self-applied the MGDRx EyeBag (The EyeBag Company Ltd.), a commercially available thermal eyelid warming device, to both eyes. This was followed by a lid massage. After the 2-week intervention, participants were reassessed for dry eye-related symptoms.

The volunteers included 2 groups: 1 group between 18-31 years old (n=30; mean age 23.95 years, 18 women) and another 61-90 years old (n=30; mean age 77.97 years, 16 women).

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Following the thermal bag application, both the older and younger participants had significantly different mean Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores (P =.001; P =.004) and Dry Eye Questionnaire-5 (DEQ-5) scores (P =.008; P <.001), respectively. The older cohort had significantly different meibum quality scores (P =.008), telangiectasia scores (P =.037), and meibomian gland obstruction scores (P =.046). The younger cohort had improved mean NIKBUT (P =.001), first NIKBUT (P =.003), upper eyelid gland drop-out (P =.003), and lipid layer thickness scores (P =.004) after treatment.

Factors which differed significantly between visits and age included meibum quality score (P =.004), mean NIKBUT (P =.017), and first NIKBUT (P =.033). Significant age effects included tear meniscus height, bulbar temporal redness score, bulbar nasal redness score, limbal temporal redness score, limbal nasal redness score, total bulbar redness score, upper eyelid gland drop-out, lower eyelid gland drop-out, telangiectasia score (all P <.001), first NIKBUT (P =.002), lipid layer thickness score (P =.002), meibum quality score (P =.004), and meibomian gland obstruction score (P =.036).

More of the younger study participants were satisfied with treatment, saying they saw a significant improvement (53.33% vs 66.67%) or some improvement (20% vs 23.33%) and fewer younger individuals thought there was no change (23.33% vs 10%) after treatment.

This study may have included some placebo effect as there was no masking in the study design.

These data indicated that ocular surface integrity metrics were improved with thermal bag therapy. Both NIKBUT and lipid layer thickness were affected by age.


García-Marqués JV, Talens-Estarelles C, Martínez-Albert N, García-Lázaro S, Cerviño A. Evaluation of the MGDRx eyebag treatment in young and older subjects with dry eye symptoms. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2021;S0181-5512(21)00568-4. doi:10.1016/j.jfo.2021.08.009

This article originally appeared on Ophthalmology Advisor