This page provides information about:
- How can your optician make moisture chamber glasses?
- Do simpler, less expensive options exist?
- Has your eye doctor never heard of using goggles to treat dry eye?
- Will goggles help outdoors?
- Will goggles help while doing chores?
- Will goggles - or saranwrap - help at night?
- Will goggles help if you have eye pain 24 hours a day?
It is possible to make moisture chamber glasses from some standard eyeglass frames, similar to those shown at "Moisture chamber glasses made from ordinary glasses." Does your optician want to learn how but doesn't know where to find out? If so, here is how:
- Making the glasses Your local optician can obtain information about how to make moisture chamber glasses, including brief instructions and how to buy the side shield material, from Eagle Vision at 1‑800‑222‑7584. Alternatively, your optician can obtain the side shield plastic from Scott Kornfeld (1-516-681-3937), an optician who donates the the proceeds from the sale of the plastic used for side shields to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.
- Adding hooks to the frame side pieces Ask the optician to attach small hooks to the outside end of each stem of your glasses. Then, at a fabric store, buy elastic string, cut a piece the appropriate length to stretch behind your head from one stem to the other, and make a loop on each end. Using the hooks and string ensures that the glasses are pulled gently but firmly towards your face, giving your eyes maximum protection from air movement. If you use saline solution or the artificial tear method for defogging your lenses (see How to prevent lens fogging), using the string also helps keep the saline solution or artificial tears on the inner surface of the lens from evaporating.
For more detailed instructions, you can ask your local librarian to order one or both of the following articles through the library's inter-libary loan service:
- "How to Produce Moisture Chamber Eyeglasses for the Dry Eye Patient"
- by Hart, Dean E.; Simko, Mark; and Harris, Elaine, in the Journal of the American Optometric Association, Vol. 65., No. 7, July 1994, pp. 517-22. These are probably the most up-to-date instructions currently available.
- "Moisture Chamber Spectacles: A Practical Guide to Their Construction"
- by David E. Savar, M.D., Peggy Runacre, and Charles M. Godfrey, M.D., in Arch. Ophthalmol., Vol. 97, July 1979, pages 1347-1348. This article also describes study results that state that for people with "severely dry eyes" the use of moisture chamber glasses "has been uniformly successful, even in cases refractory to other forms of treatment."
The following table lists a couple of inexpensive options you might try if you have only mildly dry eyes. These are not as effection at protecting your eyes as the goggles described on Moisture Chamber Glasses and Goggles.
|Safety Shields & Safety Glasses||Description|
ABC Safety Glasses
The examples in the table above are just two among many. To find more, search Google.com for "side shields," "removable side shields," or "safety glasses."
If your doctor has not heard of the use of goggles to treat dry eye, refer to "Swimmer's Goggles for Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca," by Robert H. Poirier, M.D., Frank M. Ryburn, M.D., and Charles W. Israel, M.D., in Arch. Ophthalmol., Vol. 95, August 1977, pages 1405-1406. Your local librarian can use inter-library loan to obtain this article for you.
This article describes a study showing that "swim goggles ... have been used successfully in ... patients with severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca [dry eye] unresponsive to conventional means of therapy, including artificial tears, mucolytes, and occlusion of the puncta."
Many people with mild-to-moderate dry eye can wear regular glasses indoors, but find that glasses do not provide enough protection when outdoors. For these people, wearing a sport goggle, such as those shown on Moisture Chamber Glasses and Goggles, enables them to spend time outdoors comfortably.
Some people use goggles only while doing chores that can harm the eyes, such as housecleaning (if household powders and chemicals hurt your eyes), cooking (if the heat from stovetop burners hurts your eyes), replacing the sand in the cat box, or using machine or lawn-care tools. If you have mild or moderate dry eyes and if safety goggles seal sufficiently tightly to your face, wearing safety goggles while doing chores might be all you need.
If you do not have severe dry eye pain all the time, you do have a fair amount of pain much of the time, but you just can't bring yourself to wear goggles during the day, consider wearing sport or safety goggles only when you are asleep. Wearing goggles at night might also help if you have a tendency to sleep with your eyes partially open.
In this case, be sure to wash the goggles before you put them on at night. When you wake up, wash them again, and then set them aside until the next evening. If you need to keep them defogged while sleeping, see the Lens Care Information page.
Can't tolerate goggles even at night? Try saranwrap!
Some people just cannot tolerate wearing goggles at all or for more than a very short period of time. Here is a simple alternative, suggested by readers of this Web site:
Use petroleum jelly (vaseline) to draw a burglar- or racoon-type mask through your eyebrows and around your eyes. Take a 6"x3" piece of Saranwrap or other plastic wrap and stick it to the petroleum jelly to make a cover across your eyes. Press edges gently to conform to your face.
This should stay in place all night during sleep, and you can see through it if you need to get up for anything.
If your dry eye pain is excruciating, making it impossible for you to open your eyes all or most of the day, wearing goggles 24-hours a day might help.
In this case, be sure to buy and wear more than one type of goggle, because wearing one type all of the time can wear sores on your face where the goggle chafes your skin. In addition, if you wear one type of goggle all the time, you might eventually develop an allergy to that goggle. See Moisture Chamber Glasses and Goggles for a variety of goggle types.
Remember, too, that if you wear the goggles for extended periods of time it is critical for the health of your eyes that you take the goggles off and wash them several times a day — see How to keep glasses or goggles clean.