What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition in which the eyes either do not produce enough tears to keep them lubricated, or the tears that are produced do not have the proper chemical composition. This composition is essential to keeping the tears from evaporating off of the surface of the eye too quickly. Dry eye syndrome is typically a natural result of aging. The level of dryness varies in severity depending on the individual. Other contributing causes of dry eye syndrome include:
- Being unable to blink normally
- Living in a dry windy area
- Chemical or thermal burns to the eye
- Taking certain medications such as antihistamines, birth control, and antidepressants
- Health problems such as arthritis
Every individual experiences different symptoms depending on the cause and severity of his or her dry eyes. However, some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of dry eye syndrome are:
- Red eyes
- Scratchy, dry, or itchy eyes
- Excessive watering caused by overcompensation in order to alleviate the dry eye
- Blurred vision
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, inform an optometrist at Blackheath Eyecare.
How we assess your dry eyes
At our practice, we will be able to assess the presence and severity of dry eye syndrome with the use of a high powered microscope and special dyes. By observing the distribution of the dye under such a magnified view, our optometrist is able to evaluate the quality, amount, and length of duration of tear distribution. Along with observing your eye’s tear quality, our optometrist will also ask you questions about your health and other factors that could be contributing to your dry eye syndrome.
Dry Eye Treatment
There is no cure for dry eye syndrome. However, with a customized treatment typically consisting of artificial tears and other medications, your discomfort can be lessened greatly. Some methods of treatment are:
- Artificial tear solutions
- Avoiding dust and wind
- Frequent blinking
- Increasing humidity in your environment
- Using moisturising ointment, especially at bedtime
The sooner you visit Blackheath Eyecare for assessment and treatment the better. If dry eye syndrome is left untreated, over time it can cause damage to the cornea, reduce vision, and make contact lens wear nearly unbearable.
Call us today to schedule your Examination and Dry Eye Assessment on 020 8305 1060.