The effects of a steam warming eye mask on the ocular surface and mental health

Miki Uchino, Motoko Kawashima, Ryutaro Yamanishi, Sachiko Inoue, Shinichi Kawashima, Kyoko Tagami, Makoto Yoshida, Tohru Sugita, Yuichi Uchino, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The continuous use of warming eye masks improves tear function. In this double-blind randomized controlled trial, we aimed to analyze the effects of warming eye mask use on the ocular surface and mental health. Methods: We enrolled 86 participants (age range: 23–89 years) from affiliated institutions who were divided into two groups: the warm group that used warming eye masks that generate moist heat at 40 °C for 10 min and the control group that used non-warming eye masks. The participants used the masks for 10 min once daily for 2 weeks. Before and after the intervention, in 79 participants (warm group 39, control group 40), we analyzed the tear break up time (TBUT) and corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining results in the right eye and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (Anxiety: HADS-A, Depression: HADS-D), and Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) questionnaires. The parameters before and after the intervention were compared via paired-t tests. Results: The following variables changed after the intervention: TBUT (warm group: 1.4 ± 2.1 s vs. control group: −0.01 ± 2.38 s), fluorescein staining score (−0.7 ± 1.1 vs.-0.2 ± 1.1), HADS-A (−0.8 ± 3.1 vs. −0.2 ± 2.2), and HADS-D (−1.0 ± 2.4 vs. −0.4 ± 1.9). Significant changes were observed in the TBUT (warm group), fluorescein staining score (warm group), and HADS-D (warm group). Conclusions: Using a warming eye mask improves not only the ocular surface conditions but also the subjective depression scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalOcular Surface
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul


  • Depression
  • Dry eye disease
  • Quality of life
  • Self-care
  • Warming eye masks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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