Do you suffer from dry eyes?
Do you have symptoms such as scratchy, gritty, irritated or red eyes? Dry eye syndrome occurs when there are not enough tears on the front of the eyes. The sensation of irritation and grittiness can result in reduced quality of life. There are many causes of dry eye syndrome which range from environmental factors (such as exposure to air-conditioning, pollen or pollution), medical conditions (such as arthritis), age and certain medications.
Dry Eye Symptoms
There are many symptoms associated with dry eye and people with dry eyes will often have more than just one. Most symptoms cause a lot of discomfort so it is essential that the causes of dry eye syndrome are identified before preventative and treatment measures put in place. While dry eye syndrome cannot be cured, it can be treated and, in most cases, we are able to reduce symptoms dramatically. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, please speak to our optometrists, so they can help you with the appropriate course of action.
Symptoms can include:
• Tired eyes: heavy eyes or a feeling you need to close your eyes
• Itchy eyes: often felt in the corners of the eyes
• Stinging/Burning sensation
• Occasional blurred vision
• Mucus: build-up around the eyelids especially upon waking
• Grittiness: a sensation of something foreign in the eye
Dry Eye Diagnosis
Looking at the symptoms and potential causes of dry eye syndrome will help determine if you may be suffering from a treatable condition. However, it is important to make an appointment to see our optometrist who will run a number of tests to accurately diagnose your condition using an Oculus Keratograph.
The Oculus Keratograph is able to analyse 4 key Dry eye factors:
- Lipid Layer
- Tear Break up time
- Meibomian Gland Infra-red Imaging
This very advanced equipment can produce a report on the cause and severity of your Dry eye symptoms. It is also able to look at the 3-D shape of your cornea.
Dry Eye Treatment
There are a number of ways we can treat dry eyes. By completing a full Dry Eye Assessment we are able to manage the condition, and can help you achieve to a much greater comfort.
Treatment for dry eye syndrome may aim to increase tear production, maintain tear film volume or prevent excess loss of tears.
Below is a list of several treatment options available:
- Change of behaviour: blinking more often (which can take a conscious effort!); quitting smoking; remaining hydrated
- Artificial Tears: eye drops, gels which lubricate the surface of the eye maintaining a constant lubricated film
- Avoiding dry environments: air conditioning, dry winds and even direct exposure to simple fans that can dry out the surface of the eye
- Medications: consult your doctor about the medications you take as side effects may include drying the eyes.
- Belphasteam: Some types of dry eyes requires special treatment that uses heat and moisture to help unblock the glands in your eye lids.
- Tranquil Eyes: a specialty home treatment kit for chronic dry eye sufferers which assists in stimulating natural tear production.
- Antibacterial Eye Wipes: Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) is caused by bacteria which can be controlled using eye wipes to clean around the eyelids. These are most beneficial when used in conjunction with eye drops.
- Antibacterial ointments: in more severe cases of Blepharitis we may recommend antibacterial ointments or tablets.