Do you suffer from any of the following?
These are just a few of the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease: a chronic condition whereby the tears in your eyes evaporate too quickly, or your eyes don't produce tears in the correct way.
This causes the eyes to become red and inflamed.
Dry Eyes can occur for many reasons:
As we get older, our glands produce less tears, of poorer quality, that are less well spread over the eye’s surface by our eyelids.
Poorly fitting contact lenses, overuse or older designs of contact lenses can dry or irritate the eye and eyelids. This can usually be relieved by regular reviews with a specialist optometrist.
Tears evaporate more quickly in certain conditions leading to watering and dry eyes. For example:
• Air conditioning in offices or cars
• Hot & dry climate
It is also well established by research that using a computer or reading from a screen stimulates us to blink 10 times less increasing tear evaporation.
Hormones are important in the production of tears. Reasons for changes to hormones could be:
• Starting or stopping the contraceptive pill
Medicines that impact dry eye are:
The most common eye conditions that cause dry eye are:
• Blepharitis and
• Meibomium Gland Dysfunction.
Other conditions are:
• Allergic conjunctivitis
• Bell’s palsy
• Contact dermatitis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Sjogrenn’s syndrome
What can we do to address dry or watery eyes?
We can either treat the symptoms with eye drops, or treat the cause and resolve the issues. The aim of the clinic is to treat the cause.
What can I expect at my appointment?
You complete a questionnaire to grade your symptoms so we can gauge the success of your treatments. Then your optometrist will conduct a thorough history and symptoms and take a detailed look at your eye lids, tear film and anterior eye. This will enable identification of the causes of your eye symptoms. You will then be given a clear management plan, tailored to your individual needs. You may be given a treatment on the day, such as hot compresses, lid gland expression, blepharitis treatment, tear duct syringing or punctal plugs.
How long will it take before I experience results?
This very much depends on the causes of your symptoms. We will work with you to create a system that reduces your symptoms or even completely eliminates them We often find 3 initial visits, followed by annual or six-monthly maintenance works best for most people.
Tell me more about the different treatments available?
Meibomian gland expression
The meibomian glands are the waxy glands in our upper and lower eye lids. Sometimes the composition of the fluid can change over time, and the glands become blocked.
This can be treated with warm compresses, massage and lid gland expression in practice. Changes in diet can also help, such as increasing your intake of omega 3. A second line treatment is IPL – Intense Pulse Light. This painless treatment is delivered over a course of 3 months and involves gentle sending pulsed light to the eye area, which improves the function of the glands, enabling them to work more efficiently. Another option is medication.
Anterior Blepharitis Treatment
This clears away all the crusting that can be found at the base of the eyelashes in anterior blepharitis. It is essentially a deep clean of your eyelids and can be a good start to home use of specific lid wipes and gels to maintain a clean lid.
Tear Duct Syringing
If the tear ducts that enable tears to drain away are narrowed or blocked, you may have watery eyes. We can syringe your tear ducts to resolve this problem
Tear duct Plugs
Conversely, if your eyes are not making enough tears / or making the most of your tears, we can plug the tear ducts of your lower lids, creating a fuller tear reservoir in your eyes. The tears remaining will drain away using the upper lid tear ducts instead.
Diet and Lifestyle
Environmental factors such as diet, lifestyle, medication and health conditions can all have an impact on the tear film. This will be addressed at your appointments.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) & Blepharitis