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Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome (kerato-conjunctivitis sicca) is a collection of widely varying symptoms that can be induced by a number of health and lifestyle factors. The problem stems from an imbalance in the quantity and / or the quality of tears.While there is no known cure, we are able to relieve your symptoms.

 

At our specialist Dry Eye Clinic we perform simple diagnostic tests to evaluate your tears and offer expert advice on the most effective individually tailored treatment. If you have concerns about dry eye syndrome the following information will be helpful. You can also view Examination & Treatment information here.

 

Symptom Checklist

We understand that symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. You may even actually experience watery eyes while suffering from the condition. If you tick off any of the symptoms listed below, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome and could benefit from further investigation. Do your eyes suffer from?

  • A dry sensation
  • Feel gritty
  • Burning, stinging or itching
  • Excessive watering
  • Discharge
  • Irritation from wind or smoke
  • Redness
  • Tiredness
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Contact lens discomfort

These complaints are very commonly found in patients whose work involves periods of concentrated vision e.g. extended computer use. Symptoms usually worsen as the day progresses. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call us to make an appointment at our Dry Eye Clinic

 

Influencing Factors

Your dry eye symptoms can be caused by a wide variety of everyday factors. In some cases we are able to relieve patient’s symptoms simply by altering these external influences. Please read through the following list of common causes to see if you are at greater risk of suffering from dry eye syndrome:

  • Risk increases as you get older
  • Hormonal changes, especially in women e.g. menopause
  • Adverse environmental conditions
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Taking medication such as; antihistamines, oral contraceptives, diuretics, decongestants, alcohol and anti-depressants
  • Redness
  • Tiredness
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Contact lens discomfort

Dry eye may also be symptomatic of general health problems or disease e.g. people with arthritis are more prone to dry eye (Sjogren’s Syndrome = arthritis + dry eye + dry mouth). If you’d like further information on the causes and treatment of dry eye syndrome then please call to make an appointment.

 

Tear Structure

If you’re suffering from dry eye syndrome it may help if you understand how your eye works. Tears are formed in glands located around each eye and collect in a tear meniscus, or reservoir, on the upper and lower lid. Each time you blink, they are spread by the lids to bathe and lubricate the eye, and finally pumped away through the drainage holes called puncta.

 

A healthy tear film consists of a delicate balance of three layers:

  • Inner Mucin (Mucus) Layer – Sticks the tears to the eye and stabilises the tear film.
  • Outer Lipid (Oily) Layer – Acts like a lid and reduces evaporation of the watery layer of tears.
  • Middle Aqueous (Watery) Layer – 98% water, absorbs the oxygen needed for the eye to breathe, helps fight infection and cleanses the front surface of the eye.

If you’re experiencing problems we’re only too happy to help. Call us and make an appointment.


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