Dry eye syndrome
In this weeks blog we are going to be writing about a common issue that we see everyday in practice, dry eye. We’ve talked about dry eye before in previous articles, however since we as a nation have been working more from home dry eye has become a bit more common along with digital eye strain so we wanted to touch on the subject again. Dry eye is either the eyes not producing enough tears or the tear layer breaking up/evaporating too quickly. This tear layer is vital to the cornea, which is a thin membrane that covers the front surface of our eyes. If the tear layer is not intact it can cause real irritation. Symptoms of dry eye include itchy, sore, gritty or red eyes. Of course these symptoms are not exclusive to dry eye so always consult your optometrist before treatment. Another symptom includes excess watering of the eyes. This may seem bizarre but our eyes are trying to over compensate for the tear layer breaking up by producing even more tears. Dry eye has become more common in recent years as our daily environments have cchanged. It can be caused by factors such as air conditioning, over wearing contact lenses and excessive screen time. The latter being extremely common as we now spend much of our day at a computer or using our smart phones. When we are fixated or staring at a screen we do not blink as much, therefore causing the tear layer to break up as we need to blink to produce tears to get rid of any substances that have gotten into the eye.
If you’re reading this thinking you may have dry eye, you’re probably asking what can you do about it. The key in treating dry eye, is first diagnosing it, then finding out the cause of it. You can now have a dry eye assessment with one of our practitioners here at G&S. In this 45 minute appointment the practitioner will assess the front surface of the eye using a piece of equipment called a topographer. This allows us to see how bad the dry eye is and monitor the improvement after treatment begins.
Treatments for dry eye include eye drops such as hycosan and thealoz duo. If your dry eye is combined with an allergy such as hayfever, you can get combination drops that treat both. Other treatments include something called an eye bag, which is a warm compress that warms the eyelids and melts meibomian secretions, releasing them onto the eye, giving instant relief. Sometimes a referral to a specialist via the GP is required, and you will be given interim treatments to soothe your symptoms.
If you feel any of the above applies to you and you have not made steps to get a diagnosis, please call us on 01483 272629 to book an appointment. Our team are happy to answer any queries you may have on dry eye.