What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye is a condition that occurs when the eye does not produce enough tears, or if the tears that are produced evaporate too quickly.
Dry Eye can cause inflammation of the surface of the eye and if left untreated can lead to discomfort, pain, scarring on the cornea or ulcers. In extreme cases, Dry Eye can cause some loss of vision although this is rare.
Dry Eye can cause discomfort and can make it more difficult for a patient to perform every day tasks such as reading for extended periods of time or extended use of a computer. Dry environments can also cause the condition to worsen and the eyes to become more irritated.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Dry Eye symptoms can include stinging and burning sensations in the eyes, pain and redness of the eye, heavy eyelids, uncomfortable contact lenses, tired eyes, blurred vision, a sandy gritty feeling, periods of watery eyes (excess tears) followed by the feeling of very dry eyes and decreased ability to perform tasks such as reading or computer use.
If you are concerned about Dry Eye and whether it is a condition you may suffer with, please make an appointment with your Optometrist who will be able to answer your concerns and commence the best treatment for your individual needs if required.
Causes of Dry Eye and the Risk Factors
Dry Eye can be caused by a large range of other contributing conditions and can be a temporary or chronic ongoing condition in itself.
Other contributing conditions to Dry Eye can be:
Side effect of medications, birth control pills and antidepressants
Blepharitis or other skin diseases on or around the eye lids
Long term contact lens wear
Excessive or insufficient vitamins
Immune system disorders
Diseases of the glands in the eyes
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Laser surgery (Lasik)
Keratitis (an inflammation of the Cornea)
Insufficient lid closure during sleep
Treatment for Dry Eye
Dry Eye can be caused by many different things and for this reason a range of treatments can be used to treat this condition successfully.
Eye drops or other lubricants may be prescribed to alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling. There are a range of products available to use and your Optometrist will work with you in finding the product best suited to your needs.
Punctal plugs can be used to keep moisture on the eye by keeping tears from draining too quickly.
Good quality sunglasses can help with dry eyes as they are a deterrent to dust, wind and other irritants. Image Eyewear / Radley Optical carry a full range of sunglasses. Our friendly and trained staff are available to advise you on the best selections of sunglasses for Dry Eye
This is general information only and in no way replaces specialist advice. Have your eyes checked every two years, or discuss any concerns you may have with your Optometrist, even if you have not noticed any symptoms or changes.