Your eyes constantly produce tears containing natural infection fighting antibiotics. Blinking ensures tears cover the eye’s surface before being sucked through two small holes in the nasal corner of your eyelids. These are the tear duct openings or puncta that drain tears to the nose and throat.
Dry eye syndrome, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. Most patients with Dry Eye Syndrome have a condition known as Evaporative Dry Eye and the commonest cause of evaporative dry eye is dysfunction of the oil producing glands in the eyelid edges – Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Patients with MGD have a ‘poor quality tear film’ which leads to increased evaporation of the normal tears which in turn causes the symptoms of Dry Eye
Although the condition can affect people of any age, your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increase as you get older. It’s estimated that up to one in every three people over the age of 65 experiences problems with dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is also more common in women than men. Dry eye syndrome is not usually a serious condition.
Treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms, which include eye drops to lubricate the eyes, medications to reduce any inflammation, and (if necessary) surgery to prevent tears from draining away easily.
• feelings of hot,burning, itchy, gritty or sore eye that get worse throughout the day
• red eyes
• eyelids that stick together when you wake up
• temporarily blurred vision, which usually improves when you blink
Common causes include:
• being in a hot or windy climate
• wearing contact lenses
• certain underlying medical conditions, such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
• side effects of certain medications
• Eye make up
• hormonal changes, such as during the menopause
Treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms, which include eye drops to lubricate the eyes, medications to reduce any inflammation, and (if necessary) surgery to prevent tears from draining away easily. As well as medical treatments, there are some things you can do yourself to help prevent dry eye syndrome or reduce the symptoms.
• using your computer or laptop correctly to avoid eye strain
• using a humidifier to moisten the air
• eating a healthy diet that includes omega-3 fats
• Drink plenty of water( 2 litres a day)
Our Optometrist Payal has completed recent courses in Dry eye at Moorfields eye hospital which allows her to give patients in our Practice a specialist service to help resolve dry eye issues. If you are suffering from dry eyes simply arrange an appointment to come in and see our optometrist for the best advise.