Dry Eye Assessments
Our Optometrists are experienced in dealing with dry eye symptoms. We have set up a dedicated dry eyes clinic and offer a comprehensive range of highly effective Dry Eye Treatment Solutions at a comparatively low price.
Previously, most patients visited general practitioners and pharmacists for their dry eye concerns.
An important benefit of considering our dry eye clinic consultation is to get a careful assessment of the tear film and an analysis of the cause of dry eye. This allows us to target a personalised management plan.
The symptoms of Dry Eye include:
- Blurred vision
- Excessive Watering
- Photophobia ( Sensitivity to Light)
The causes of Dry Eye may include:
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Dry environment/Pollution
What causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye is caused when the tear gland produces insufficient tears. This can happen as part of the normal ageing process. It is more common among women, so although the condition is not common it tends to occur with increasing age when it is not always noticed because the effect of dry eye tends to balance another age-related change: poor tear drainage. The result of this is an imbalance caused by a reduction in lacrimal fluid.
People with Sjogren’s syndrome have dry eye as part of a more general health problem involving salivary glands and other sites of mucus membrane. Salivary gland involvement produces a dry mouth as well. This syndrome, and dry eyes generally, may be found in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the effects of the condition?
People with dry eye rarely have a sensation that the eye is dry but instead experience irritation, burning, a sensation of having a foreign body in the eye, mucus discharge and possible temporary blurring of vision. Blinking may cause pain to people with severe forms of keratitis.
The aim of treatment will be to relieve discomfort and prevent corneal damage. In some situations, relief may be found by blinking consciously when doing close or continuous work. It is also helpful to close the eyes for a spell from time to time.
Eye drops may be purchased over the counter and since there is a variety, it may be helpful to try others if your present product does not suit you. Some drops contain preservative, which means they are safe to use for a month after opening, but although these drops are cheap and suitable for most sufferers, some people do not tolerate the preservative and may need to get a preservative free formulation.
Lubricant ointments are also helpful, particularly at night. These are also available without preservative. Some women benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially those whose dry eye problems began around or after the menopause.
Antihistamines or certain types of travel sickness pills inhibit tear secretion and symptoms can vary from day to day and be affected by general health. Surgical procedures may be indicated if symptoms are severe despite drops.
It involves closing the tear drainage holes in the eyelids permanently. It is a minor operation, which is suitable for some patients.
Is there anything that can help?
Avoiding the following situations will minimise your risk of Dry Eye.
- Reduce the dry atmosphere caused by central heating by using a humidifier.
- Avoid car heaters, particularly at face level.
- Sit away from direct heat such as gas or electric fires.
- Use eye drops just before activities, which cause additional pain or discomfort such as television, reading, sewing and writing.
- Remember to blink regularly, particularly when doing close or concentrated work.
- Blink properly with full lid closure, not ‘half’ blinking.
- Avoid smoky atmospheres.