Rebecca's Rice Baggy Kit
About Rebecca's Rice Baggy
- Super-soft, dye-free, domestically grown organic cottons
- Simple, effective alternative to warm washcloths - retains heat much longer
- Can be used warm or cold (microwave required for heating)
- Choice of sizes. Full size is 4" x 8", half size is 4" x 4"
- Included: Rice baggy, jersey knit slipcover, muslin travel sack (note: pattern may vary depending on availability), instructions
Description (by Rebecca)
The Rice Baggy is based on a simple, classic homemade tool used commonly for management of chronic meibomian gland syndrome or blepharitis. We took the concept and turned it into more of a luxury item. Each Rice Baggy is lovingly hand made for us in Texas from domestically milled organic cottons purchased from family owned businesses.
Our Rice Baggy is a soft oblong organic cotton ‘bag’ partially filled with uncooked rice. It is heated briefly in the microwave, placed in a luxurious cotton knit slipcover, and then placed over the eyes. When used as part of a doctor-recommended treatment plan, its function is to heat the eyelids enough to loosen up thickened oil secretions (meibum) plugging the oil glands so that the oil in the glands can once again flow into the tears and perform its vital role of slowing evaporative tear loss. It can also be used, warm or cold, just for its soothing effects.
Full vs. Half Size
We have two sizes available - full and half size. From a heat retention standpoint, the full size is preferable. However, it is large and as it is designed to extend over both eyes, it necessarily covers a lot of the skin between and around the eyes. This can be a problem for people with very sensitive skin or facial rosacea, as too much heat can trigger skin reactions.
The half size rice baggy allows you to concentrate the heat right over a smaller area, or alternatively to treat one eye at a time. People with facial rosacea, however, may be better off with Thermoeyes heat packs (ordinary size not XL) as they are much smaller and can heat only the lids and nothing else.
What about moisture?
Some doctors recommend moist heat, some make no distinction between moist and dry as long as the temperature, during and delivery method are appropriate. We have rice baggy users who add moisture by wrapping the rice baggy in plastic then covering with a moist washcloth before placing it on their eyes. Another alternative for a moist compress would be the Tranquileyes kits that include ThermoEyes instant or bead type heat packs.
Try it cold!
The most popular use of rice baggies is for warm compresses, but many people use them cold (store in a plastic bag in the freezer) to help with inflammation and pain. Cold packs are an underutilized tool for eye pain.
Usage and care
What is Rebecca's Rice Baggy used for?
The rice baggy is used for warm or cold compresses for the eyes. Warm compresses are often used by dry eye patients either for comfort purposes alone, or therapeutically on the advice of an eye doctor as part of a treatment plan for blepharitis / meibomian gland dysfunction. Please consult your doctor about the use of heat on your eyelids.
Instructions for use
For complete instructions, please click here.
- Place the Rice Baggy (without the slipcover) in the microwave. (Do not use a conventional oven.) Heating time varies greatly depending on your microwave – anywhere from 25 seconds to over a minute. You will have to experiment with this a bit to determine how long is the optimal time to heat your Rice Baggy. We suggest starting at about 30-35 seconds (less for the Mini).
- Remove Rice Baggy and test by holding it against the inside of your wrist, then against your lids. It should be warm but not hot. DO NOT OVERHEAT.
- Place it inside the slipcover, sit or lie down and place it over your eyes. Leave in place for 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if desired or as directed by your doctor.
- Some people like to do lid massage afterwards in order to express meibum. Please do this only if you have instructions and a demonstration from your doctor.
Cleaning and care
At the risk of stating the obvious, do not wash your rice baggy itself. Either replace it regularly, or open it up, empty out the rice, wash and dry it, refill and sew closed.
See links below for replacement baggies and slipcovers.
- DO NOT OVERHEAT! As with any heat pack that is heated in a microwave, there is a very real danger of burning your eyelids or even your eyes if you overheat it.
- Do not overuse (heated). Please consult your eye doctor about the frequency and duration of warm compresses suitable for you.
- Do not heat in a conventional oven! This product is suitable for microwave heating only.