How can I treat my
Dry eyes is one of the most undertreated and misunderstood eye problems.
Symptoms of dry eyes includes:
Foreign body sensation under our eyelids when we blink
Blurry vision or fluctuating vision
Blurry vision when reading followed by stinging of the eyes
All symptoms are worse in air-conditioned environment
All symptoms are worse when outdoors in a windy environment.
Dry eyes can be completely debilitating, causing us to no longer enjoy everyday activities.
Dry eyes can cause us to no longer enjoy wearing our contact lenses.
Dry eyes can cause us to feel very self conscious about our eyes and the way we look.
Dry eyes can make us feel tired and sleepy constantly, without us feeling physically tired.
The mechanism of sleep is that when your body is tired or fatigued, it will cause your eyes to become dry, your eyelids to be heavy and eventually get you to fall asleep so that your body can restore and rejuvenate.
The same mechanism actually occurs when our eyes are dry. It tricks our body into believing that it is tired, fatigued and needs rest.
Types of Dry Eye
Evaporative Dry Eye
Our tears consist of 2 layers -
1. An aqueous layer - this is the watery layer that gives our eyes moisture.
2. A lipid layer - this is the oily layer that sits over the top of our aqueous layer that inhibits tear film evaporation.
When our tears are deficient of lipids, it causes our tears to evaporate too quickly. On average, we blink every 9 seconds, while our tears will rest on our eyes for 15 seconds.
Dry eye symptoms will start to occur when our tear evaporation time drops below 9 seconds.
Mild dry eye is where your tear evaporation time is between 9 to 14 seconds, you may have few or no symptoms at all. If you suffer from some symptoms then this is considered moderate to severe.
Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye
Our tears often have enough lipid, but actually lacks in body. Our tears lack in moisture. This is often due to reduced innervation and function of our tear glands. This is associated with more systemic health issues arising from inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s disease or a side effect of medications or radiation causing reduced tear gland function and production.
Blepharitis Causing Secondary Dry Eyes
Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelids and lashes by common bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus which can cause us to have common colds. These bacteria like to infest our eyelids and lid margins - a site which is rich in meibomian oils and oil glands that usually produce our lipid layers in our tear films.
These little micro-organisms are particularly difficult to get rid of and triggers a cascade of events that eventually leads to inflammation of the eyelids and conjunctiva and eventually causing dry eyes.
Typical visible signs that we may be infected with blepharitis includes crustiness along the eyelashes which is more pronounced upon waking, and/or redness along the lid margins.
So what is the treatment that you can offer for dry eyes?
Dry eyes often starts with a proper eye evaluation and understanding of the function of each mechanism in your eye that contributes to your eye’s natural lubrication.
Once we have ascertained the cause and origin of your dry eyes, our optometrists will then devise a treatment plan than can take 3-6 months to completely be symptom free of dry eyes.
Dry eye treatment options
Tear Lab Osmolarity System
By measuring your tear film osmolarity, our optometrists are able to diagnose the severity of your dry eyes. The Tear Lab Osmolarity system is the only FDA and TGA approved system for measuring your tear film osmolarity with 89% accuracy.
E- Eye IPL Dry Eye Treatment
This is utilising the latest in IPL Technology developed in France which help to stimulate the meibomian glands in our lower lids to increase production and often reset their function to produce better lipids and oils for our tear film, thereby increasing our tear evaporation time.
This is prescribed by our optometrists to help reduce the inflammation that has been caused by long-term chronic dry eyes and have resulted in red, gritty, sandy symptoms that plague our normal day activities.
Lacritec is a formulation that has been devised specifically to increase the bio-availability of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in our bodies and therefore for our meibomian gland production.
We often hear that our patient’s are on low fat diets to help control weight gain. But in actual fact, there are good fats and there are bad fats. The good fats rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 are actually important to normal healthy cellular function and also important to the tear quality in our tear films.
Blephadex is a natural soap remedy used by our optometrists to help regularly reduce the bacterial flora along our lid margins and meibomian glands to help reduce the infection in blepharitis. As the bacteria is deeply bedded into our meibomian glands, this will take usually 1 month to see vast improvements bus can take up to 6 months for a more complete resolution.
This is an antibiotic ointment prescribed by our optometrists to assist the Blephadex in reducing the bacterial fauna along our lid margins.
Dry Eye Drops
Dry eye drops are naturally part of all dry eye treatment regimes to help increase the lubrication and maintain the health of our corneas, while our optometrists work on the other mechanisms to help improve your natural tear flow and tear quality.
The drops we recommend include:
Thera Tears Drops
Thera Tears LiquiGel
Systane Ultra UD
Systane Gel Drops
Optive Refreshing Drops
To get help with your dry eyes, start by booking a regular eye examination with our optometrists.
They will evaluate your symptoms, severity, lifestyle, and past treatment to help you develop a dry eye treatment plan to help you improve and reduce or eliminate the need for drops.