Dry Eye

What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a sore, gritty sensation caused by not enough tears being produced or an upset to the normal function of the eye affecting the quality of tears to form a protective tear film over the eye's delicate front surface.
Dry eye is common with ageing and is more common in women than men. It is associated with many conditions, medications, and not blinking enough while using the computer tablets or screens.

Tears are made up of three separate secretions: a sticky base layer, a watery mid layer and an oily top layer (which slows tear evaporation). Dry eye is a sore, gritty sensation caused by too little tear production or poor quality tears that form an inadequate film.

Normally tears form a protective film over the surface of the eye, lubricating movement and washing away debris and any toxins. Dry eye can be painful and cause sensitivity to bright light or open air and wind.Despite the name, the irritation of dry eye may trigger excessive tears. Dry eye may also redden the eyes, but it requires different treatment from allergic conjunctivitis and 'red eye'.

Who is at risk?

  • Increasing age – it affects 75% of people over 65 years of age
  • Females – hormonal changes (eg, pregnancy, menopause, oral contraceptives)
  • Lacrimal and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), or inflammation of the eyelids and the surrounding delicate surface – you may have red eyelid margins and scaly eyelashes (blepharitis)
  • Medications – eg, decongestants, antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, isotretinoin, for acne, blood pressure tablets and 'red eye' drops
  • Underlying conditions such as Sjögren's syndrome
  • Other conditions to consider are: rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, thyroid disease, other autoimmune diseases
  • Computer screens use – users tend to blink less, especialy contact lenses wearing computer users.
  • Air Conditioning - Environments of super drying, cooling, heating and constant air conditioning evaporate the eyes quicker than normal, this can upset folks whose tear film is only just hanging in there and tip them over the edge to Dry eye.
Close up of an eye
Close up of eye drops

Treatment

If there is an obvious cause, then treatment will aim to reduce or address this issue such as changing a medication, contact lenses or treating blepharitis. If you use a computer a lot, then you need to train yourself to blink more often!

  • Eye washes, eg, Optrex Eye Wash with eye bath
  • Artificial tears and lubricant eye drops or gels,  eg, Blink Intensive Tears, Optive drops, Refresh Liquigel, Refresh Plus, Refresh Tears Plus, or Preservative free drops like Carmellose drops, TheraTears Drops, Celluvisc drops, Bion TearsHyloforte, Hylofresh, Evolve Gel,  Celluvisc drops, TheraTears Gel.
  • Eye ointments to soothe dry eyes - longer lasting, better protecting and best used at night as they often may cause blurred vision, eg, Polyvisc, Lacri-Lube, Viscotears, Genteal Gel, Manuka honey based Optimel Drops or Gel, or VitApos ointment.
  • Training on the use of Bandage Contact lenses insertion & removal and supply of first Contact lenses.
  • Eye drops to soothe irritated eyes which are slightly red, eg, Albalon Relief
  • A wide range of Pharmacy only medications containing a decongestant (only use for 1 to 3 days), eg, Albalon, Albalon A Allergy Eye Drops Clear Eyes, Clear Eyes Allergy

Come in and see us

Kiwi's know that good things take time, so come to us, have the tests done without feeling that you have been "rushed thru", and you'll know what we mean when we say "we take the time!"

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