DRY EYE

Symptoms include:


Dry, gritty sensation
Foreign body sensation - “feels like something in the eye”
Red eyes
Excessive watering of one or both eyes
Eyelids sticking together on waking
Intermittent blurring of vision which improves on blinking

 

Causes:


Dry eye syndrome occurs due to a disruption to the complex way tears are made. This can be due to a reduction in tear production associated with advancing age or the tears produced are no longer lubricating the eye sufficiently


External or Environmental factors can also be involved such as:
Hot and windy weather
Air conditioning or central heating
Wearing contact lenses
Certain medical conditions such as blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
Excessive computer screen use
Side effects of medications
Hormonal changes
In many cases it can be a combination of these factors

Treatment:


Dry eye is not usually a serious condition but can be an inconvenient and irritating one!
Fortunately there are many different treatments available to help alleviate symptoms.
Dry eye can sometimes be a seasonal problem so treatment is only needed for a few months of the year. However, unfortunately dry eye can be a chronic and progressive problem meaning treatment will be on-going.

Drops:


All of the following drops are available in both Tenbury Wells and Bromyard practices and are available in preservative free preparations, especially suitable for sensitive eyes.
Please bear in mind that all eyes are unique and different drops suit different symptoms better
Thealoz Duo*                
Thealoz Duo Gel
Hyabak*
Biotrue drops*
Systane Ultra
Systane Gel
Systane Balance
Eyelogic spray – ideal for patients who have difficulty putting eye drops in .
*suitable with Contact lenses

Dry eye can sometimes be in association with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

Meibomian glands are positioned on the upper and lower eyelid margin near the eye lashes.
They secrete an oily substance onto out tears to stop tear film evaporation leading to dry eye.
Sometimes meibomian glands can become blocked or clogged and this reduces the quality of the tears and exacerbates dry eye.
Meibomian gland dysfunction can be treated using heat and massage. To help unblock meibomian glands you need to apply a heat of 46 degrees for over 6 minutes. 
In the past we used to recommend soaking a flannel in hot water and placing it over the closed eyelids. In reality this is not only time consuming, inconvenient and messy (meaning you are less likely to do it) but also is not maintaining a high enough temperature for long enough to treat the MGD.


Fortunately, the arrival of microwaveable eye compress treatments means a reusable, affordable and much more effective alternative is available:
Heat compress treatments


Eyebag TM                
The Eye Doctor
Therapearl – can be used in microwave to treat MGD or in the freezer for a cooling relief to help with eye allergies

Glasses and Sunglasses


Wearing spectacles or sunglasses can help as the air between the spectacles and the eye remains more humid. This is especially true for computer screen users in air conditioned offices and well-fitted, wrap-around sunglasses when outside.

Keep well hydrated
Drink plenty of water
Good diet
Omega 3 fats found in fish oils have shown to help with dry eye syndrome
Avoid dusty and smoky environments

 

BLEPHARITIS
Symptoms:


Eye irritation
Burning / stinging eyes
Crusty eyelashes
Foreign body sensation
Dry eye
Red eyelids


Causes


Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, particularly the eyelash/lid margins
It can be associated with a low grade infection with staphylococcus, or as a complication of skin conditions such as :
seborrhoeic dermatitis
rosacea


Treatments


Blepharitis can be effectively treated with hot compresses and cleaning wipes and scrubs
Sometimes a  one-off 10 day treatment is all that is needed, but more often than not, blepharitis tends to recur meaning treatments may need to be repeated throughout the year.
Diluted baby shampoo and cotton wool pads are no longer a recommended treatment as although it can help reduce the blepharitis, it tends to disrupt the tear film making the overall symptoms worse.


Recommended eyelid care products include


Supranettes                20 sterile wipes        
BioTrue lid wipes        20 sterile wipes
Blephasol DUO          100 applications for more chronic conditions