It is not advised to use tap water in the eye, if you want to wash the eyes and don't want to use a bought product then at least make sure you use cooled boiled water (ideally with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of water diluted in every 1/2 pint).
Dry eyes are often the result of an imbalance in components of the lubricating tear film. The tear film should be composed of an aqueous, lipid and mucosal layer. For a variety of reasons it is not unusual for the lipid component to be deficient. The lipid layer is secreted by the meibomian glands which are found in the upper and lower eyelids. These glands may not be able to secrete sufficient lipid or become blocked so the secretions do not make it to the tear film. This can give rise to a variety of 'dry eye' problems which can be addressed in a variety of ways.
If the gland is producing the mebum or lipid but the gland opening is blocked by hardened plugs then applying heat to the lid area and using a mechanical scrub may solve the problem.
The area can be heated by;
- appling a clean warm flannel (immerse it in hot water and wring out but be careful not to burn yourself) which is held over the closed lids till cooled and then repeated over a period of 10 minutes, morning and evening for 2 weeks.
- or using a propriety heated wheat or rice bag.
The lids can be cleaned by;