These are used to prevent the eyes from drying out, during sleep for example.
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose inserts (lacriserts) are small pellets that contain artificial tears and are inserted under the eyelid once-daily, to help keep the surface of the eye moist. As a sustained-release formulation for artificial tears, the effect can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. Lacriserts are usually used in patients with dry eye whose symptoms cannot be controlled by frequent instillation of artificial tears.
Hot eyelid compresses and massage
Blockage and dysfunction of the Meibomian oil glands in the eyelids (posterior blepharitis), is treated using heat to warm up the oil glands and massage to encourage Meibomian oil to be expressed normally from the eyelids.
Heat can be applied to the eyelids with a folded up small flannel or face towel soaked in moderately hot water (not so hot as to burn the skin, but quite hot) and applied 6 times for 30 second intervals. Alternatively a hot eye mask can be used for 3 – 5 minutes, for example the EyeBag http://www.eyebag.org/
Unblocking the Meibomian oil glands restores natural “oily tears”.This is important because this water-proof oily barrier stops evaporation of aqueous (watery) tears. Restoring this source of natural “oily tears” can reduce the use of artificial tears and lubricants in the eyes.