Treating evaporative dry eye and blepharitis with petrolatum next to the eye

Warning and disclaimer

The method described here has not been shown to be safe or effective in an extended clinical trial series. You should not try this method without the approval of your physician. This site's author assumes no responsibility for anybody's use of the method described here.

Theoretical background

Practical method -- one person's experience

Results reported by one person

Frequently asked questions

Q: Nighttime ointments (Lacrilube, Refresh PM, etc) contain petrolatum. Is this the same thing you're talking about?
A:No. Nighttime ointments are intended to be squirted inside the eyelids, in large enough quantity to lubricate the eye, in effect replacing the normal 3-layer tear film with something more like packing the eyeball in grease. While using these ointments in the eye, vision is typically distorted. In contrast, applying petrolatum next to the eye adds just a small amount of lipid, enough to control evaporation but not enough to affect vision.

Q:Could I apply a nighttime ointment next to my eye and get the same results?
A:I have tried that and have found it is less effective than pure petrolatum. I think the reason is that the mineral oil that is added to the nighttime ointments make it spread too fast and too thinly to be effective when applied next to the eye.

Q:Aren't you worried about using petrolatum that is not labeled "sterile"?
A:If I could find a source for sterile petrolatum I would use it. Since I have not found that yet, I take comfort in the fact that fats and oils don't support microbe populations in the way that aqueous solutions do.

Further detailed thoughts and speculations

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