(When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!)

Dry eyes occur when the normal tears are out of balance. These tears provide moisture and lubrication to the eyes to make them comfortable or functional. Tears also protect the eyes from possible infection.

Without the regular production of tears, the eyes are prone to struggle with dryness. Aside from the natural aging process, a more common cause is screen time. Another cause of dry eye is blepharitis or allergies.

Warm Compress or Cold Compress?

People suffer from dry eyes at different degrees. If it becomes severe, it requires medical intervention. On the other hand, mild symptoms have available self-treatment options. Physicians recommend the application of compresses to alleviate the pain and discomfort due to dry eyes. There are two compresses: the warm compress and the cold compress. For people who want to know which is the better treatment, here is a guide to compare the two options.

Warm Compress for Dry Eyes

Warm compress is best for people who struggle with dry eyes due to difficulty sleeping because of strained eyes. By increasing blood circulation and stimulating the oil glands, warm compress allows the eyes to feel relaxed. It is also ideal for people who find that their tears evaporate too quickly. These people suffer from Meibomian gland dysfunction. 

Other people feel comfortable with the warm sensation from the compress. That’s because heat stimulates the oil glands within the eye and helps to produce more oil. This makes it ideal for people who wake up with crusty, flaky, or sticky eyes due to a problem with the lipid layer of the eyes. The warmth enables better blood circulation around the eyes, which effectively stimulates the glands and unclogs them.

Here is one of my favourite warm compresses (I use two in a row everyday).

Tear restore
Warm compresses showing how they activate with a click. You can see through them too!

Cold Compress for Dry Eyes

Cold compress also improves the circulation of blood around the eyes. It is an ideal option for people who struggle with reading because of dry eyes. The cold sensation helps relieve the burning or painful feeling due to the eye strain. It is also an excellent remedy for eye strains due to overexposure to screens, reducing the irritation and headaches that are caused by eye strains. 

As to the question of which type of compression is better for dry eyes, it appears that there is no exact answer. Warm and cold compresses are both effective remedies for alleviating the symptoms of dry eyes. People who suffer from dry eyes must choose the type of solution depending on their condition. However, experts also recommend using the two remedies hand-in-hand. It is best to start with a cold compress for about five minutes. If the pain or discomfort persists, try the warm compress right after. This may be done alternately until the symptoms become lighter or totally eliminated.

For more information about dry eyes, consult with the specialists from the Dry Eye Directory. We offer reliable medical advice to provide dry eye relief. Our aim is to restore the patient’s optimal eye health for better living. Browse to find a dry eye doctor today.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click the link and make a purchase, Dry Eye Directory may receive a commission. This helps us to keep bread on the table. Thank you for your support!