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What is dry eye?

This common condition occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes, due to a reduction in the quality or quantity of tears. This tear film comprises three layers that work together to keep your eyes moist and protected. The top oily layer helps to prevent evaporation of tears. The middle, watery layer is the thickest layer and the sticky bottom layer helps the tear film to adhere to the eye. If anything upsets the tear film it can become unstable or evaporate. This results in dryness and inflammation of the cornea (front of the eye).

What are common symptoms? 

  • Red, scratchy, sore, or gritty eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensations
  • A feeling of having something in your eyes
  • Crusty eyes (excessive ‘sleep’ in the eye)
  • Blurred vision that changes after a blink
  • Eyes feel ‘heavy’, tired or fatigued
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses comfortably

How is dry eye managed?

Dry eye is a chronic condition that we can never eliminate but we can improve your symptoms. Treatment options depends on the type and severity of your dry eyes, as well as by identifying the cause of the dry eye and personalising a care plan. This can include environmental modification, daily lubricating eye drops or gels, warm compresses and short doses of anti-inflammatory drops or creams. Other options include omega-3 supplements to help reduce inflammation of the tear oil glands and sealed glasses that help avoid evaporation of the tears. Recently, a new technique called intense-pulsed light therapy (IPL) followed by a massage of the eyelids has proven to help some people with severe dry eyes.

If you suffer from dry eyes, book a consultation online now.