Are you experiencing dryness with your eyes? Are they burning, stinging or gritty? Do they get irritated with wind or smoke? If you answer yes to any of the above, you could possibly have a common tear problem which is known as Dry Eye. We can help!
What is dry eye?
The function of tears is to keep the surface of the eye lubricated and wet, and this is done each time you blink. A shortage of tears or reduction in quality can leave the front of the eye exposed to the air and drying occurs. In addition, environmental factors can have an added effect. So, for instance, in the winter you may find your eyes feel dry with increased heating and or cold air outside. Also, we may blink less when we are using screens – tablets, smart phone and other devices for a prolonged period, causing eyes to become dry or tired.
So, what are the symptoms?
The symptoms of dry eye may include the following:
- Burning or stinging
- Gritty feeling
- A sensation of something in the eye.
- Irritation with wind or smoke
- Blurred vision
- Tired or red eyes
- Excessive watering
- Contact lens discomfort
What are some of the causes of Dry Eye?
There are many causes of dry eye including the following:
- Hormonal changes
- General Health problems
- Certain types of medication
- Dry environment and pollution
- Computer use
- Contact lens wear
- Laser eye surgery
We can help you with this!
There are many ways we can help treat people with dry eyes. We can assess the severity of your condition, diagnose the root cause and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan. In some cases, symptoms can be relieved by simple environmental changes, such as, avoidance of air conditioning or taking regular breaks away from computer screens.
As dry eye syndrome is caused by an imbalance of tears on the eye’s surface, the most logical way to treat the problem is to artificially replace the tears and by doing so improve both the quality and quantity. There are a variety of artificial tears available and you will be advised the best option for your problem as part of the treatment programme.
We also investigate the underlying causes of your dry eye and can prescribe treatments and medication to help with these.
Our Dry Eye clinic service.
We have set up our dry eye clinic to help you manage your symptoms better.
At your first appointment we identify the cause of your dry eyes, recommend the latest treatments to alleviate your symptoms and ensure that you leave knowing exactly how to treat your condition with a bespoke care plan. You will then be invited to return for follow up appointments to fine tune your treatment. Many patients will only require two or three appointments to be able to manage and control the condition themselves.
Our Dry Eye Clinic is run by principal optometrist, Mr Nick Croft, who has an independent prescribing qualification which allows him to prescribe medications normally only available through the Hospital Eye Service.
The clinic also offers management of common eye lid problems such as Blepharitis and Eyelid cysts. Blepharitis is one of the most common causes of dry eye, where the edges of the eyelids become inflamed (red and swollen). It is a common condition and can develop at any age but is more common in people over 40.
Signs of blepharitis can include:
- Itchy and sore eyelids
- Eyelids that stick together and are difficult to open, particularly when you wake up
- Eyelashes that become crusty of greasy
Blepharitis is usually a long-term condition. Most people experience repeated episodes, separated by periods without symptoms
This is a specialist dry eye service and not covered by the NHS.