Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is one of the most common eye conditions worldwide and one of the most predominant reasons for visits to an optometrist. Abernethy Owens is a dedicated dry eye clinic and we can help with innovative and effective dry eye treatments. Almost everyone will experience a feeling of dryness in their eyes at some point, however, chronic dry eye or dry eye syndrome is a progressive inflammatory condition in which dry eye symptoms are prolonged and severe. Read on to learn more about this common eye health condition.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome may include:
- Stinging, burning or itchiness
- Heavy eyelids
- Fatigued eyes
- Redness and pain
- Blurry vision
- A feeling that grit or foreign material is in your eye
- Periods of watery eyes followed by dry eyes
- Inability to cry
- In severe cases, dry eyes can cause inflammation and even permanent damage to the surface of the eye
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Dry Eye?
Dry eye is caused by inadequate eye lubrication, this could be due to the tear ducts not producing enough tears, or tears evaporating too quickly. Tears are necessary for healthy eyes and clear vision as they protect the eyes from infections and wash away dust and debris.
Risk factors include but are not limited to:
- Environmental irritants - wind, low humidity, air-conditioning, heating, sun exposure, smoke or chemical fumes
- Constant screen or computer usage
- Hormonal changes - from pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills
- Frequent flying in aeroplanes
- Eye surgery, such as LASIK and cataract surgery
- Health conditions such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain medications such as antihistamines, nasal decongestants, blood pressure medication, and antidepressants
- Long-term contact lens wear
How Is Dry Eye Disease Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of dry eyes, you should consult your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. This involves a thorough check of your eyes, eyelids, and cornea as well as tests to measure the flow and quality of your tears using a special dye.
Can it Be Treated?
Fortunately, even severe dry eye syndrome is highly treatable. Once your optometrist has determined the cause of your dry eyes, they can prepare a personalised treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. Treatment may include over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, daily hot compress and lid massage, manual expression of the Meibomian glands and/or punctal occlusion. Abernethy Owens also offers LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation treatment and E>Eye IPL. It may also be recommended that you make a few lifestyle changes which will further alleviate symptoms, this could include adding foods rich in Omega 3 to your diet or taking supplements, using a humidifier to put moisture back into dry air and taking regular short breaks from screens to give your eyes a rest.
If you are suffering from dry eyes or have found yourself searching for ‘an exam near me’, make an appointment with the team at Abernethy Owens today. With 5 practices located throughout Perth and a team of highly skilled optometry professionals, don’t put off your routine eye exam any longer.