How to Do an Eyelid Massage for Dry Eye and Styes

Published on
April 3, 2023

Dry eye is a multifactorial eye disease, which means there are a variety of causes and symptoms. The result is a lack of moisture or too much moisture on the eye's surface. It can cause discomfort, blurry vision, and even affect your day-to-day activities. 

The purpose of a dry eye evaluation is to understand what is causing the dry eye which then indicates the ideal treatment. This is especially important for the discussion of eyelid massage, which can be an incredible tool for someone who has dry eye due to clogged oil glands (MGD, /dry-eye/everything-you-need-to-know-about-meibomian-gland-dysfunction/) while making symptoms worse for someone who has corneal conditions among others. 

And treatments for dry eyes are abundant. In this blog we will discuss one successful treatment that can help with dry eye and styes. 

Styes are a condition that can affect the eyelids with an infection of one of the oil glands along the eyelid. 

Fortunately, there is a way to help alleviate these symptoms, and it's an eyelid massage.

In this blog, we will be discussing the benefits of eyelid massage, the proper way to perform it, and how to make the most out of it to improve your eye health. We always recommend doing a comprehensive dry eye evaluation before beginning any form of treatment. Under the guidance of an optometrist you can enjoy the freedom from dry eye. 

The Proper Way to Perform Eyelid Massage for Dry Eye and Styes-Using Heat!!

The first thing to remember when performing eyelid massage is to use a warm compress on the eyelids first. Our optometrist can guide you on the best types of compresses to use. A warm compress will help melt the solidified oils in those oil glands, so that when you massage you are gently expressing them. This loosens the clogged glands and improves natural production of essential lipids for the tear film. 

To truly get the most out of this technique, melting the glands will greatly enhance the outcome of the massage. There are recommended home products as well as in office treatments, we welcome you to speak with our optometrist about the best options. 

At Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga we highly recommend performing heating and eyelid massages at home to alleviate symptoms (under the direction of an eye doctor). 

These simple techniques can help stimulate the oil glands by removing blocked or clogged meibomian glands in your eyelids. This then improves the quality of your tears and reduces dryness.

Getting Started: 

To perform the massage, you'll need to start by washing your hands thoroughly to avoid introducing any bacteria to your eyes. 

Once your hands are clean, follow these simple steps:

  • Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  • Follow the heating recommendations provided by our optometrist to heat the eyelids. 
  • You can use either your fingers or a clean washcloth to do the massage.
  • If you are using your fingers, start at the top of the eyelid and gently apply pressure, pushing down towards the eyelashes. This will help stimulate the oil glands and encourage them to release.
  • Work your way around the eyelid, starting from the inner corner of your eye and moving all the way to the outer corner.
  • Repeat this process for the lower eyelid, this time pushing upwards towards the eyelashes.
  • You have about twenty to thirty oil glands on the superior eyelid, so make sure to move around and apply pressure to each of them.
  • Repeat the process for 1-2 minutes, at least twice a day, for best results.
  • Alternatively, you can start with your finger at the top and then roll down. This can also help stimulate the oil glands and promote the flow of tears.

By performing these simple techniques regularly, you can help alleviate dry eye symptoms and improve the overall health of your eyes. Remember to always wash your hands before touching your eyes and speak to our optometrist before trying any treatment for dry eye. 

Benefits of Eyelid Massage for Dry Eye

The main goal of eyelid massage is to encourage the oil glands of your eyelids, called the meibomian glands, to release the solidified oils that clog them. This will help produce healthy new oils, which is really important for anybody who's struggling with evaporative dry eye disease, chalazion, or stye.

One of the most significant benefits of eyelid massage is that it can help improve the quality and quantity of the meibum. The meibum is the oil that is produced by the meibomian glands, which helps keep the tears from evaporating too quickly. When the meibum is thick and not flowing correctly, it can cause dry eyes and other related issues.

Make the Most Out of Eyelid Massage for Dry Eye

Aside from performing the massage correctly, there are a few things you can do to make the most out of it:

  • Do eyelid massage daily to help prevent dry eyes and styes from occurring.
  • Combine eyelid massage with other treatments like warm compresses, lid scrubs or wipes,  or in-office treatments..

If you have any questions or concerns about your dry eye or stye, you can schedule a dry eye evaluation with our eye doctor by calling (423) 710 3965.

Take Our Online Dry Eye Quiz

Take our dry eye assessment to see if your symptoms indicate that you are suffering from treatable dry eye disease /dry-eye/dry-eye-quiz/

Improve Your Vision and Relieve Dry Eyes with Eyelid Massage - Tips from Hixson Optometrist

At Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga, we want to help you take care of your eyes and improve your vision. If you are struggling with dry eyes or styes, eyelid massage can be a great way to help alleviate your symptoms. Try incorporating eyelid massage into your daily routine, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at (423) 710 3965.

Patients with dry eye visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of dry eye services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.



Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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