OcuTherm Resilience Kit
About OcuTherm Resilience Kit
- Premium eye compress kit
- Can also be used for cool compresses
- Conforms to the eyes/face
- Kit includes: OcuTherm mask unit, insulated cover, OcuTherm Dry Sheets (20), spray bottle, and instruction sheet.
How this is different from "OcuTherm Essentials"
Products evolve over time! The original OcuTherm kit was called OcuTherm Essentials and it included moist sheets and a bottle of solution. The kit has now been pared down a little and adjusted so that you use it with your preferred solution, which could be anything from filtered water to a gentle eyelid cleansing type product.
- OCUTHERM UNIT? No change.
- PACKAGING? Was box, now bag.
- HYGIENE SHEETS? Kit used to include a package of 30 moist sheets, now 20 dry sheets. (Replacements come in a pack of 50.) Dr. Biser says these are thinner, more pliant, and conform better to the eyelids, which makes them better at transmitting heat.
- LIQUID? Kit used to include a bottle of solution specifically for use with OcuTherm, and now doesn't. It is now intended to be used with either water or your eye-friendly solution of choice. An empty spray bottle is included for convenience.
Please also check out Dr. Biser's user tips in the Manufacturer section below.
My original review (September 2020)
I test a lot of products. This is the first one in a long time that delivered a serious "Wow!" factor.
Before you read any further, let me caveat this by saying that I have no idea whether YOU will like it or whether it's worthwhile for you to try it. I only know I liked it a lot. I am distinctly aware of the wide ranges of likes and dislikes when it comes to warm compresses - including my own. Some compresses are large, some small, some smooth, some knubbly, some moist, some dry, some easy-wash, some scary. We all have different needs, preferences and tolerances.
The first time I tried this out, I was not expecting any surprises. But I just... felt... so... goooooood the entire time it was on. There was a very real "je ne sais quoi" factor. I lay down with this thing on my face and I just did not want to get up again. It was simply so relaxing. When I tried to analyze it, I came up with two main things: One, it sinks in and conforms super well to your eyes and face, something I look for in all compresses, but none has ever delivered this well. Two, the material, I concluded, must be a lot softer than any other type of gel pack I've used. There's a particular feel most plastic casings have on my skin and this one, in my experience, is different and better.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I loathe the hyperbole of marketing language. I feel embarrassed thinking marketing words, let alone writing them down or saying them out loud. But the word "hug" kept coming to mind, like this thing just held my face so completely and gently. Have you ever used a weighted blanket? It was also slightly reminiscent of that, somehow, but for the eyes and upper face.
I am supposed to be describing a dry eye product, not a spa or therapy session. I just can't help sharing what the experience was like. But to make this more relevant to the MGD crowd: Because of the way the compress conforms to the eyes, I actually feel confident it will do a better job delivering heat to more of the gland orifices in each lid than any other home care item I've tried. I make no medical claims for this product though (nor for any other on the site). It's up to each one of us with MGD to get good medical advice about MGD and how to treat it.
Pros and cons
I am listing these together because, in some cases, one person's "pro" might be another person's "con", once you get past the first few!
- Feels so nice!
- Superbly designed, with a very soft, pliable gel pack, an outer cover to maximize heat retention, and an excellent strap design that is both secure and comfortable.
- Conforms completely to the lids, for maximal contact and heat transmission.
- 3-part: Compress, hygiene sheet, spray. This is good for those who like the luxury approach, but too much work for those who want the lowest possible hassle factor.
- Large. This will be great for many of us. However, those who have facial rosacea may will not want that much heat over so much of their face. Thermoeyes are a better choice for limiting the heat to a specific application area.
- Microwave heated: Handy for everyone except... those who do not use microwaves. Check out Thermoeyes for instant or water-heated compresses; The Dry Eye Doctor for oven-heated; or EyeGiene for disposable instant ones that you don't have to boil afterwards.
- Cost: Definitely on the high end of the market, AND involves consumable products. I imagine some users will make their own sheer cover for the eye-side. However, we are making the solution and the sheets available on subscription for extra savings.
Safety first: Do not overheat
One concern that I have with OcuTherm AND every other microwavable compress on the market is the risk of overheating and potential for burns. I hear now and then from patients whose doctor told them (about any brand of bead-filled compress, or an egg or a potato or whatever they're using) "get it as hot as you can stand". All I can say is I hope these doctors have good medmal insurance.
You can burn your cheeks, eyelids and even corneas with an overheated compress. You do NOT need scorching heat to treat your MGD. You need to raise the temperature in your meibomian glands, but... not to a slow rolling boil. In my microwave, 25 seconds worked. 30 seconds was uncomfortably hot. More than that would have felt unsafe. Your microwave will be different.
ANOTHER NOTE: If you used the original OcuTherm Essentials, you'll want to lower the heat time for this one by 5 to 10 seconds until you find a new preferred time, due to changes in the sheets.
2023 UPDATE - Dr. Biser's Tips
Based on feedback from several of my own patients who have made the switch, here are some tips in getting the new dry sheets to work for you.
USE AN ALTERNATIVE to OCUTHERM SOLUTION.
Fill a 2-ounce bottle with clean tap water or another “eye-friendly” solution of your choice. Clean and dry the bottle on a regular basis. See instruction manual enclosed with kit.
- LOWER THE MICROWAVE TIMING AT FIRST.
Lower the timing by about 5 to 10 seconds until you find your new preferred timing.
- PLACING THE SHEET - New tips:
- When spraying, we recommend 8 to 10 sprays, so that the dry sheet will adhere to the Gel casing.
- THE SHEET CAN BE STRETCHED. You can stretch the sheet horizontally, either before or after spraying, so it fully covers the right and left sides of the Gel.
- THE SHEET CAN BE FULLY MOISTENED BEFORE USE. If you miss the pre-moistened feeling of the previous OcuTherm sheets, simply moisten the entire dry sheet (for example, immerse it under clean tap water), and then squeeze out excess moisture before applying it to the Gel casing.
The Problems: Why patients needed a better eye compress
- Heat Loss and Poor Hygiene: Wet washcloths lose their heat too quickly. Daily contact with re-used materials may increase the risk of microbial contamination.
- Poor Ocular Fit: Basic heat mask eye compress design leads to inefficiency and discomfort. Head straps pull the mask forcibly against the eyes.
- Lack of Moisture; Dirt Accumulation: Dry heat mask eye compresses do not provide the moisture needed for clean, moist heat therapy. Fabric materials easily accumulate dirt.
Our Solutions: Ophthalmologist-invented and tested
- Hygienic, “Clean-Barrier” Materials: During heat therapy, the only material that will touch your eyelids is a fresh, single-use OcuTherm Sheet. We entirely avoid the accumulation of dirt that is commonly seen with fabric heat masks.
- Anatomically Precise Therapy: The OcuTherm Eye Compress Unit is designed to allow OcuTherm Gel to flow and conform precisely to the shape of your closed eyelids, so it delivers heat therapy in a gentle and efficient manner.
- Long-Lasting, Moisturized Heat: OcuTherm Gel provides enough thermal energy to deliver complete treatments with minimal heat fading. The pre-treated OcuTherm Sheet ensures that you receive moisturizing heat therapy.
Enhanced Capabilities: Comfort-driven performance
- Extended Treatments without Re-Heating If you feel the heat fade but you need the treatment to last longer, you can increase the heat immediately, without getting up from your chair or couch. Our Heat Recharge™ method even creates an easy form of heated eyelid massage, recommended by dry eye specialists.
- Eyelid Cleaning: After treatment, when heat and moisture have loosened eyelid debris, the clean areas of the OcuTherm Sheet can be used to gently and easily wipe the eyelids and eyelashes. Our ultra-soft material is designed to be pleasant and non-chafing.
- A Full Range of Temperatures: In addition to moist heat therapy, doctors often recommend cool or cold eye compresses for a variety of medical reasons.* From hot to cold, the OcuTherm System easily provides steady, lasting eye compress treatments at any therapeutic temperature. (* For example, cool or cold therapy can be used for allergic conjunctivitis; migraines and headache; sinus pain; postop eyelid surgery; and other conditions.)
OcuTherm Gel is designed for superior thermal performance and relies upon our proprietary Gel formula, which maintains its temperature for an exceptionally long time. OcuTherm Gel is enclosed in a flexible FDA-cleared waterproof polymer casing, which can be wiped cleaned in seconds. Patients typically choose to replace OcuTherm Gel every 2 to 3 years; replacement is quick and easy.
(Note: Packaging and solution have changed since this video was made.)