Do your eyes feel dry or irritated?
Do activities like reading or working on the computer make your eyes feel itchy and scratchy? Then you probably have Dry Eye Syndrome. It’s a common problem but you don’t have to live with it.
What is it and who gets it?
‘Dry Eye’ is self-explanatory. Our eyes should be permanently moist, fresh and comfortable. The problem affects many people, particularly postmenopausal women and contact lens wearers. The condition is related to the quantity and quality of your tears, which is affected by numerous factors including acne, hormone imbalance, eyelid abnormalities, medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and birth control, and exposure to air pollutions.
In addition, warm air central heating or the ventilation fan in your car plus other environmental factors can all play a part. It is also a known fact that people do not blink as often as they should, when they are using a computer.
Common signs might include
- Discomfort – Eye sensations include burning, stinging, grittiness, sensitivity to light or watery eyes that feel dry.
- Deposits – Small deposits around the eyelashes (Blepharitis).
- Foreign body sensation – As if there is something underneath the lids.
- Redness and bloodshot – This always indicates a problem.
- Fatigue – Your eyes tire easily especially when reading or watching TV or the computer.
- Itchiness is apparent – It may be allergic reaction.
If you think you have dry eyes, talk to your Optometrist. They will provide you with a questionnaire to help diagnosis. There are also simple tests to perform to analyse your tear chemistry and the amount of tears you produce.
Some simple tips for you to try
- Rest – Give your eyes a rest by taking breaks from your book or computer. Look far away and BLINK.
- Environment – Take a break away from fans, air conditioning and/or smokey atmospheres.
- Water – Use a humidifier. Drink plenty too to hydrate yourself from the inside out.
- Lubricate – Eye drops work like natural tears to restore the health of the eye’s surface.
- Apply – Moderate heat for 10 minutes followed by lid massage to release the natural lipids which hold the watery tears in place and stop them from evaporating.
If the problem persists, then book an appointment for our Dry Eye Clinic.
What we will do
- Analyse your tear chemistry and inspect your eyelashes under high magnification. This often reveals some form of inflammation around the eyelashes called Blepharitis which can be chronic and will need to be managed. In more severe cases, Demodex, a small parasitic mite may be present in the eyelash follicles.
- You will see the magnified image of your own eyes and lashes on the screen for you to see for yourself.
- Deep clean of the lashes and lids using the BlephEx system.
- We’ll provide advice on how to manage this condition and provide medication.
- Selection of most appropriate lubrication, depending on which layer of the tears needs help.
- An appointment with our Ocular Hygienist who will give a practical demonstration and assistance in application of eyedrops lid scrubs, heat and massage techniques.