My Weird Dry Eye Trick: Glad Press'n Seal
Last updated: August 2023
If you’ve spent much time on the internet, chances are you’ve come across an ad that starts with “one weird trick.” Usually these are a gimmick, but I happen to actually have one for chronic dry eye.
After I got my diagnosis I joined several social media groups and forums related to chronic dry eye. One odd idea that patients kept talking about was using a type of plastic wrap called Glad Press’n Seal on their eyes at night to prevent them from drying out.
Unusual dry eye treatment
At first it seemed so strange and kooky I just scrolled past it, but after seeing several different people mention this same thing I started to think “hmm, maybe I need to read these posts.”
One of my dry eye issues is that my eyes constantly dry out at night. Most likely I don’t keep my eyes completely closed at night. For years I’ve used a variety of ointments and gels in my eyes to keep them from drying out while I sleep. Then I added a sleep mask, then another thicker sleep mask on top of that. As my chronic dry eye worsened, I found that even that didn’t always work, especially in the super low humidity winter months here in Colorado.
That’s what got me thinking about the Press’n Seal idea.
Is Glad Press'n Seal effective for dry eye?
My first question though was whether my sensitive skin would tolerate something like this on my face at night. I Googled my way to the Glad website and read that Press’n Seal is BPA free. So far so good. It also doesn’t seal with any type of glue. It’s the texture of the plastic itself that allows it to seal to surfaces.
I decided to pick some up at the grocery store the next time I needed to shop, thinking well, for less than $5 a roll if it doesn’t work I haven’t wasted too much money at least, and I can still use it in the kitchen.
How exactly do you use it? Amanda provided an excellent video on how she uses it. Basically, after putting in my eye ointments, I just tore off a strip long enough to cover both eyes and gently pressed it around my eyes and over my nose. I honestly expected to wake up the next morning with it peeling off my face or wadded up beside my pillow, removed at some point during my sleep.
To my great surprise, I woke up the next morning with the stuff still perfectly adhered to my face and keeping my eyelids shut! What’s more, my eyes actually felt moist like I’d spent the night in a tropical rainforest instead of a dried up desert.
Is it worth it?
After several months of use, it continues to work and hasn’t caused any sort of skin reaction. I’ve learned a few important tips though. For me, it seems to go on easier if I tear off two squares instead of one long strip. The other big tip is it’s really important to press along the side of my nose up to the edge of my eyelid. That spot seems more prone to not sealing well, and then air will get in and dry my eye out on that side. I also have to be sure I close my eyes tightly before adding the Press’n Seal or it feels uncomfortable.
It does take some getting used to, but I adapted pretty well. If for any reason I need to get up at night in an unfamiliar room, then I have to pull it off my eyes to see, and it doesn’t re-seal as tightly.
There are also other options to consider, including medical grade stickers for eyelids, and goggles designed to seal in moisture at night. But for $5 a roll, I couldn’t be happier with this “weird trick.”
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?