25 Feb New Blephasteam Goggles from Thea
NEW BLEPHASTEAM GOGGLES AND HOW TO USE THEM
I have recently started to use the new Thea Blephasteam goggles – an eyelid warming device that delivers consistent moist heat technology.
I will describe later in the article what the device is for and the benefits, but for now let me first deal with the practicalities of setting it up.
The set-up is easier than it looks. On opening the box it looks like there are a lot of parts and can seem a little overwhelming. We made an unboxing video so, if you are not a reader or tend to be impatient like myself, it might worth clicking this link and spending 5 minutes watching it on YouTube.
There were a couple of points that only came to light when we got our stock of these devices. The first one is that it comes with a 3 prong (UK & IRL) plug unlike the USB power connector we were expecting. To date, there has been a limited release of the product to 3 countries – Ireland, England and Germany, and the initial release goggles come with a 3 prong plug. From June of 2023 the USB power connector will be the standard.
Another point is that the rechargeable batteries (Li-FeP04 – AA size) which fit into the wireless facemask take time to charge – initially we waited almost 2 hours. Once the green battery symbol stopped flashing and we pressed the start button the device then heated quickly (approx 4 minutes). Leave the device heating on the docking station until it bleeps, indicating that it’s ready to use. Once you have soaked the water carrier in the tray insert it in the googles and put them on. The session has now begun.
Unlike the older version, where it was not possible to do anything visually with using the device, this new version allows you to see during the heating session. Wearing glasses is not possible inside the mask, so what you can do may be restricted somewhat depending on what your personal ocular needs are. I wear reading glasses so I couldn’t read or use my digital devices. For this reason I chose an appropriate time to use the goggles, e.g. when I needed to make a few calls, have a snack etc
Perhaps you could avail of this opportunity to relax, meditate, slow down, and count your blessings!
Importantly, the gogglez offer a consistent heat at the appropriate, scientifically established temperature of 38-40 degrees Celsius. This temperature has been proven as the optimum temperature to melt the oil in your meibomian glands.
After 10 minutes, the device will bleep indicating the session is complete. Remove the goggles and carry out what I believe is the most important aspect of the treatment. With a soft cloth, cotton wool or a lid wipe, massage the lids to effectively excise the heated oil from inside these glands. The unboxing video demonstrates how we recommend doing this. Because the heat has opened the glands at the lid margin near your eye lashes, massage the lids towards these orifices, gently. Picture heated and melted candle wax – the wax in your glands is now in a flow state.
With time and repeated heat treatment, the meibomian glands improve their oil production quality and quantity and the tendency of these glands to block reduces considerably.
Another observation after using the goggles, once you have finished your session, remove the water carrier and dry it off, make sure you don’t place the googles in the docking station with the water carrier still inside. If you want to reuse the device it will take roughly 40 minutes before the batteries are recharged to and the device is ready to use again. This is a point worth noting for households with several members who wish to use these goggles.
Mebomian gland dysfunction (MGD) – this disorder is what the Blephasteam goggles have effectively been designed for. It is well established that this particular problem is the contributory factor for almost 80% of patients suffering from dry eye. Whether the MGD causes dry eye or evaporative dry eye leads to MGD is debatable. However, from the patients point of view, the result is the same.
If you suffer from dry eye problems, use the Blephasteam goggles as part of your regular dry eye routine. Remember the value of lid hygiene (particularly in the morning when you wake) and lubricant eye drops during the day. Perhaps you could consider taking an omega 3 supplement, and using a thicker lubricant gel drop at night time before bedtime. Dry eye is generally multifaceted so symptoms and discomfort rise and fall – gauge and taper your treatment accordingly.
With heat treatment, I typically advise patients to use the device twice a day for the first 2 weeks, then reduce to once a day for the 3rd and 4th weeks, finally dropping to just twice a week (or as needed) thereafter. Note: there is no perfect time to use the goggles if the morning suits before you start you day fine, or if it suits you better when you are tired and after a long day this is also fine.
We are offering a session with this new Blephasteam Goggle as part of a dry eye assessment in our Dublin, GP based clinic (The Meridian Clinic, Roselawn D15XH2T)
During an assessment we establish the potential causative issues that are contributing to your dry eye symptoms, what type of dry eye you have and outline a treatment regime. A session with the heat treatment using the new Blephasteam goggles will give you a chance to experience the benefit of this premium product.
A dry eye consultation is €35 and you can book online here
Author; Don Stack, Optometrist