Bubble eye bandages


Ever wonder what bubble bandages are all about? This video will show you how they work. (As you can see, I'm making rapid progress from videophobe to "don't-give-a-!@#$ what I look like on screen as long as I can get the point across".)

Bubble bandages are a transparent rigid thin plastic bubble with an adhesive-coated flange that forms a perfect seal around the eye, trapping moisture and keeping moving air out, to protect the cornea from damage due to exposure - usually used overnight. 

Bubble bandages address a narrow niche need... and the Dry Eye Company having long been a magnet for a great host of "narrow niche needs", I end up employing them with surprising frequency.

Adhesives on and around the eyes, whether medical tape & EyeLocc or bubble bandages, are never ideal, of course, but it's amazing how many situations I deal with personally on a day to day basis where they end up being the only viable option.

The "ideal user" of these products is someone with very serious exposure issues due to a non-closing eyelid. Examples include acoustic neuroma surgery, Bell's palsy, damage to the 5th cranial nerve from any number of causes, a history of extensive reconstructive eyelid surgeries, and... well, I could so easily go on and on. (Welcome to my life.)

In most such cases, my first attempt at a sustainable solution would be one of the three Eye Eco goggles (and probably EyeSeals) - even though the problem affects only one eye - both for cost reasons and to be reasonably skin friendly. The sad fact is, no one, so far as I know, has created a durable, reusable product to address the needs of the single-eye exposure problem. So we use the goggle-type things, mostly.

But... then there are all the people who can't wear goggles. There are all kinds of possible reasons for that. For some people, straps of any kind are a non-starter; others are allergic to silicones, or foams, or cannot tolerate the weight of EyeSeals. Whatever the reason, when we need something to cover just one eye and not place a material burden anywhere else, we turn to the bubble bandages.

You'll probably learn most of what you need from the video above, but a few random comments:

One, the Ortolux bubble is so low profile that *some* people can wear it under their glasses, which is a great boon in cases of Bell's palsy and the like.

Two, these products are a daily reminder to me that everyone is different. For example, I personally find Ortolux intolerable! Witness my bright red cheek in the video! Yet... Ortolux has the same adhesive as all the most popular occlusion patches that kids use, and I have plenty of clients who use them successfully, or I wouldn't continue stocking them. It's all about navigating tradeoffs and discovering what, on balance, is a sustainable solution for YOU.

Three, sometimes, in striving for a sustainable way to deal with corneal exposure, it's about rotating between one solution and another. I have clients who switch back and forth between taping, bubble bandages and Quartz, for example. Experimentation is everything!