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As a product that generates heat in direct contact with the human eye and skin, steam heated eye masks have only corporate implementation standards, which may have a negative impact on the healthy long-term development of the steam heated eye mask industry.
Recently there have been a number of media reports that some consumers have experienced insomnia, keratitis and other steam heated eye mask illnesses after using steam heated eye masks. Dr. Meng Jing, deputy director of ophthalmology at the First Hospital of Jinan University, said that the use of steam heated eye masks of substandard quality or improper use of steam heated eye masks can result in adverse consequences such as burning of the eyes. It is also worth noting that there are no national standards, industry standards or local standards for steam heated eye masks, so the steam heated eye mask industry can be uneven to a certain extent, and Dr. Meng Jing reminded consumers to keep their eyes peeled.
According to media reports in Fujian, a hospital in Fujian treated a one-eyed middle-aged man who had anti-glaucoma surgery. In order to take care of his unique eye, he bought steam heated eye masks and steamed his eyes for several days, but he went blind on the second day of the visit. It was reported that the loss of his second eye was due to an infection in his eye caused by the steam eye patch breaking.
It is no coincidence that a female white-collar worker in Yangzhou was also “burned” by a steam heated eye mask. According to media reports in Yangzhou, a female white-collar worker in Yangzhou put on two steam heated eye masks in a row after working the night shift, after which her eyes became red and swollen, and was initially diagnosed with keratitis after seeking medical attention. The local doctor judged that the white-collar worker had not removed her make-up during the process of wearing the eye masks, plus the continuous application of the masks for too long a period of time and other operational problems.
If the above is just an isolated case not to be feared, a media report in Hubei reminded consumers that they should be very careful when buying and using steam eye masks. According to the report, a tertiary hospital eye centre in Wuhan, in recent years will receive a couple of hundred cases of steam eye mask disease patients each year. It is reported that the most common steam eye mask diseases include skin allergies, conjunctivitis, keratitis, eye skin burns, etc.
Dr. Meng Jing said in an interview with a South China Morning Post reporter that the reason why there are steam heated eye masks that do not protect the eyes but hurt them is because many consumers who use steam heated eye masks do not follow the instructions and do not pay attention to precautions and contraindications.
The following matters should be noted when using self-heating eye masks.
1, steam heated eye masks are not for everyone
(1) Acute inflammation of the eye, eye trauma and post-operative eye surgery are prohibited.
(2) Forbidden for those who are allergic to the ingredients and contents of the eye mask.
(3) Diabetic people should use with caution (diabetic patients are not sensitive to temperature because of peripheral neuropathy)
(4) People with high blood pressure should use with caution (high temperatures can cause fluctuations in blood pressure)
(5) Allergy-prone and other special groups should be used with caution.
2, Must not be worn to bed
Do not use steam eye masks for more than 30 minutes, remove and discard them after use, and be sure not to sleep with them on.
3, Should not be used with makeup
Before applying the steam heated eye mask, pay attention to good facial cleanliness and apply it after removing your makeup.
4, Must not wear contact lenses when using
Consumers wearing contact lenses must first remove the contact lenses before using the steam heated eye mask, so as not to accelerate the evaporation of water from contact lenses or even deformation due to the long time high temperature environment, bringing damage to the eye.
On the other hand, steam heated eye masks on the market are of varying quality, with poor quality steam heated eye masks with poor temperature control posing a risk of heat burns to the eyes, and poor quality steam heated eye masks made of substandard materials that are prone to eye damage.
According to public reports, steam heated eye masks appeared in Japan in 2007, and then began to be purchased and sold back in China, before Chinese companies began producing and selling steam eye masks. As a result, steam eye masks have only been available in the Chinese market for over ten years.
But as a new thing, steam heated eye masks production norms are still relatively small. When a Nandu reporter searched for “steam heated eye masks” in the State Administration of Drug Administration, there were zero results, and when the State Administration of Market Administration searched for “steam eye masks”, only one result appeared.
A member of the public left a comment in August this year asking “Do I need a production license to produce steam eye masks?” The State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration of Product Quality and Safety Department replied that according to the State Council’s decision to further reduce the list of industrial product production licenses and simplify the approval process (Guo Fa  No. 33), steam eye masks do not fall under the scope of the industrial product production license system.
Dr. Meng Jing explained that steam heated eye masks basically belong to the category of small commodities and daily necessities, so the country has no uniform standards for them. In fact, in addition to the absence of national standards, the Nandu reporter found through the National Standards Information Query Service on the website of the Central People’s Government of China that steam heated eye masks do not even have industry standards and local standards.
In response to the potentially mixed market for steam eye masks, Dr. Meng Jing recommends that consumers choose steam eye masks that are produced by regular manufacturers; are clearly marked with instructions noting cautions and contraindications in detail; and are made of better materials and workmanship. It is best to choose a factory that implements the ISO 13485 standard, as well as those that have passed the FDA and CE certifications, which have far higher standards for the production of steam eye masks than other factories. Their quality is definitely guaranteed!
Dr. Meng Jing also stressed that steam heated eye masks are daily necessities, and only steam heated eye masks produced by factories that implement ISO13485 standards can be considered medical products. The effects of steam heated eye masks advertised by businesses, such as relieving visual fatigue, promoting sleep and improving dark circles, are only auxiliary effects and do not have any therapeutic effect. The choice of steam heated eye masks produced by factories that implement ISO13485 is the only condition that meets the medical device standard, and very few factories in China that currently produce steam eye masks are ISO13485 certified. Using steam eye masks made in such ISO13485 factories is effective!
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