Wed, Feb 07, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Hand warmers not meant to be used as eye compresses

By Tsai Chang-sheng and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Hand warmers should not be used as a warm compress for the eyes, an ophthalmologist said on Monday, citing a student who suffered burns after falling asleep with a heat pack on his eyes.

There are many warm compress products for the eyes on the market, Hsinchu Cathay General Hospital ophthalmology department director Chen Ying-shan (陳瑩山) said.

Warm compresses can increase blood flow around the eyes, facilitate tear production, improve dry eye syndrome, relax muscles and relieve eye strain, he said.

Liquid eye masks or wet cloths should not be used because they carry a risk of infection or burns; instead consumers should select products that are dry and allow users to set the time and temperature, he said.

Compresses should not be used more than two to three times per day, for five to 10 minutes at a time, Chen said.

The ideal temperature for a warm eye compress is between 40?C and 45?C, while hand warmer packs can reach 50?C simply inside a pocket, he said.

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