The Rice Baggy
is based on a simple, classic homemade tool used over the years by
many of our Dry Eye Zone members who have dry eye symptoms due at
least in part to chronic meibomian gland syndrome or
Our Rice Baggy
is a soft oblong organic cotton ‘bag’ partially filled with
uncooked rice. It is heated briefly in the microwave, placed in a
luxurious cotton knit slipcover, and then placed over the eyes. Its
purpose is to heat the eyelids enough to loosen up thickened oil
secretions (meibum) plugging the oil glands so that the oil in the
glands can once again flow into the tears and perform its vital
role of slowing evaporative tear loss. It can also be used, warm or
cold, for its soothing effects.
dye-free organic cotton
• Retains heat
for 10-20 minute use
effective alternative to “warm washcloths”
organic cotton knit slipcover
drawstring travel sack
discovered the Rice Baggy concept when an ophthalmologist friend
gave me one! Regular compresses with a baggy have been part of my
standard eye ‘maintenance’ ever since. It was so simple and I found
it very effective. When I get a symptom flare-up for no obvious
reason, it’s typically because I have slacked off my heat
There are a
number of us ‘rice bag connoisseurs’ on Dry Eye Talk and I’ve found
there are many ways to make and use them. Homemade disposable rice
baggies are easy to do (see below).
those who would prefer a ready-made, longer-use product, I finally
decided to try to design something and add it to the Dry Eye Shop.
(I figured, there must be many people out there who, like me, are
simply too lazy to do-it-themselves.) So, I went back to the maker
of my original Rice Baggy – a nice lady in a small town in west
Texas where everyone has dry eye – and asked her to work with me on
some ideas. What we ultimately came up with is intended to combine
practicality with a touch of luxury. The fabric of the baggy and
the cover are all dye-free organic cottons. The cotton knit
slipcover was an innovation to improve hygiene (wash as often as
you desire!) as well as comfort. Interestingly, of all the products
we stock at the Shop... and of course we all know different things
work for different people... this is the only one with truly
unanimous positive feedback.
Why heat? Many
people have dry eye symptoms as a result of chronic meibomian gland
dysfunction (often called evaporative dry eye). That is, the oil
glands in the lids do not secrete sufficient oil onto the tears, so
the tears evaporate rapidly, resulting in classic dry eye symptoms
even if the lacrimal glands are producing plenty of tears. (Want to
know more? Or struggling with medical jargon? See our Dry Eye
Encyclopedia.) When the meibomian glands start to become disabled,
the oil secretions thicken, creating “plugs” in the gland orifices
and preventing the constant flow of oil that is so crucial to a
healthy tear layer.
with warm compresses is a classic, frequently prescribed way to
improve meibomian gland function by softening/loosening hardened
oil secretions. (Some people combine this with lid massage or
manual gland expression; please do not attempt this without medical
advice and careful instructions first.) The most frequently
suggested method of heat treatment is warm washcloths. While this
seems to work well for some users, it never did anything at all for
me – other than sometimes it just felt soothing on a bad eye day.
The washcloths did not stay warm long enough; it was a nuisance to
keep getting up and running them under the tap; and doing
compresses frequently seemed to irritate my skin. For me, dry heat,
with some weight to it, is simply more effective.
Who am I? My
name is Rebecca Petris and I have had chronic dry eye since
undergoing LASIK in July 2001. I founded The Dry Eye Company as a
result of my experiences, hoping to make useful information and
effective products more accessible to others with dry
You can make
your own rice baggy very simply. Check out Cindy’s directions for
homemade compresses on our Warm Compresses page in The Dry Eye
if you think the rice baggy is overpriced, I just want to mention
that this is not a mass-produced item with an obscene profit
margin. Each and every Rice Baggy is lovingly hand made for us by a
Texas cotton farmer from domestically milled organic cottons that
we purchase from family owned businesses. I like supporting small
businesses wherever possible.
Talk with your
doctor before using heat treatment on your eyelids.
extreme caution when heating a Rice Baggy. The eyelids are very
thin and not only is there risk of burning the lids and surrounding
skin, but even the corneas. Rice Baggies should be heated a little
at a time and tested carefully before being applied over the
experience temporarily blurred vision after using a Rice Baggy,
either because of oil or because of the weight of the rice. You may
find it most convenient (and beneficial) to use it just before
WARNING: Heat rice baggies in a microwave, - NOT in a conventional
A shipment to
Australia in Feb 2010 had the rice baggy removed for unknown
reasons. Sometimes customs have an issue with this thinking it is a
food item.If you're ordering this for shipment abroad, put a note
on your order so that it can be relabeled as a warm compress before
7/16/2014 – Could using the rice baggy cause punctal plugs to fall out because of the heat and weight factors?
3/5/2014 – my doc told me to use moist heat. can i use a warm washcloth and put the heated rice baggy on top of it?
1/7/2014 – Hi,Thanks so much for turning me on to rice bag therapy. I've been using it with good success for a year. My question . . .
11/12/2013 – I overheated my rice baggy by mistake - almost 2 minutes. Will this damage it or cook the rice & make it unsafe? (I let . . .
11/6/2013 – Hi, I live in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Do you know where I can get the Rice Baggy here, or alternatively in Dubai? Thanks
Treat Yourself to a Quality Product
From Emily of Athens, Georgia on 4/22/2016.
A MUST HAVE
From Daniel Moca of Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 5/14/2012.
Worth Every Penny!
From Valerie of Painted Post, New York on 3/29/2012.
FINALLY SOME RELIEF
From Kate of Smyrna, Delaware on 11/8/2011.
From lisa baker of las vegas, Nevada on 10/7/2011.
PURILENS BACKORDER: Purilens will be available to ship on Tuesday, 7/26 - sorry for the inconvenience!
IMPORTANT NOTE 7/22/2016: We are experiencing some problems with the delivery date estimates in the shopping cart / checkout screen, and also with rates for Saturday delivery Fedex/UPS shipments. If you have specific timing needs, please call us or put a note on your order so that we can be sure we are shipping it with the best method to reach you in time. Sorry for any inconvenience - we will have this fixed as soon as possible! - Rebecca
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