Dry Eye

Scratchy, itchy, tired eyes

Dry eye is a very common condition caused by a problem with your tears.  It occurs when there is either increased tear evaporation, insufficient production of tears to lubricate your eyes or a chemical imbalance in tear composition.

There are a number of causes for dry eye and in order to determine the appropriate treatment a comprehensive and thorough examination is recommended following which our Optometrists can then advise a treatment plan tailored to your specific symptoms.  Repeat visits may be advised to monitor and review the progress of your condition.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

The symptoms of dry eye range from mild discomfort to severe irritation.  Below are just some of the symptoms experienced with dry eyes:

Watery eyes
Burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
Blurred vision for a short period of time
Red eyes
Eye fatigue
Feels like there is ‘something’ in your eye

When to see your Optometrist

Mild symptoms can often be managed easily and effectively but, if left untreated, people with severe dry eyes may be prone to more eye infections and also may experience damage to the surface of the eyes.  We would always therefore suggest that you consult an Optometrist if you feel your eyes are dry, gritty and sore.

Can you just have a quick look?

When examining the eye, it is always important for the Optometrist to have an up-to-date overall picture of your eye health rather than examining one symptom in isolation.  If you are due your regular eye examination or we have not seen you before at our practice, we would request that you book in for a full eye examination.

During the eye examination, the Optometrist will carry out a number of tests to work out if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to dry eye and how dry your eyes are.  He can then accordingly give advice on what can be done to help treat your eyes and make them feel more comfortable.

Potential Causes of Dry Eye

Sometimes the causes of dry eye may not be found, however dry eye is naturally more common as we grow older. Some other possible causes are:

Medications
Certain medical conditions
Use of contact lenses
Working with a computer
Air conditioning
Eye surgery

Tailored Dry Eye Care Plans

As each person’s dry eye condition and its causes are unique to them, a tailored plan is discussed following the examination.  There are many treatments available, the simplest being from lid cleaning regimes to the use of eye drops and hot compresses, however your Optometrist will advise the best option for you.  We may suggest an aftercare visit to check on the improvement of the condition.  This would often involve a 15 minute appointment a few weeks later.

As dry eye cannot be currently cured, our aim is to help you manage your dry eye and to relieve the symptoms so that you can carry on enjoying your everyday activities.

If you would like to book an appointment with one of our Optometrists, please call us on 020 8642 0563.