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  1. Volume 3: Dry Eyes, a very modern condition

Volume 3: Dry Eyes, a very modern condition

Thursday, 2 June 2022
Volume 3: Dry Eyes, a very modern condition

Our resident Brunswick, Melbourne Optom David Gee Min (BOptom Hons, Oc Ther) is available for eye tests that include a comprehensive health check as well as provision of prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. In this article, David shares some expert advice on the modern eye-condition ‘Dry Eyes’. Learn about the causes of Dry Eyes as well as the tell-tale signs, and some simple practices that can help to alleviate irritating symptoms:

Volume 3: Dry Eyes, a very modern condition

Many factors can contribute towards Dry Eyes, including the Environment, Ageing, Hormones, Medications, Medical Conditions etc. The most commonly seen causes in the clinic are generally due to extended screen use, eyelid inflammation (Blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction), and air conditioning.

What are the symptoms and signs of Dry Eyes, and when should we visit an optometrist?

Common symptoms and signs include, a gritty sensation, feeling like something is in the eye, a stinging sensation which can occasionally lead to significant pain, and intermittent blurriness of vision. Quite surprisingly another very common symptom is that the eyes may water excessively which sounds like the opposite of  what you would expect in “dry eyes”. If any of these symptoms persist, it is advised to visit an optometrist to find the root cause.

What are the causes of Dry Eyes?

Many factors can contribute towards Dry Eyes, including the Environment, Ageing, Hormones, Medications, Medical Conditions etc. The most commonly seen causes in the clinic are generally due to extended screen use, eyelid inflammation (Blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction), and air conditioning.

What are the best treatments, and what can we do in our daily routine to improve symptoms?

The best treatment will depend on the root cause of the dry eye which is different for everyone. Sometimes treatment may be as simple as taking sufficient breaks when using the screen, or avoiding air conditioning directly to the face. More often than not, artificial tears will be included as part of dry eye treatment to help re-lubricate the eyes sufficiently. Like lotion used on the skin, artificial tears help re-lubricate/ moisturise the eyes and you can’t really “over do” it. Most people suffering from dry eyes actually do not use artificial tears enough, so do not be afraid to use it when required. Making a habit of keeping the eyelids clean will also do wonders in improving dry eye symptoms. Like washing your face or shampooing your hair, if a habit is made of keeping the eyelashes clean, then it will limit debris buildup on the lashes and reduce inflammation along the eyelid margins (where the good lubrication for your eyes naturally come from) leading to good natural eye lubrication. A mild soap, diluted baby shampoo, or eyelid cleansing wipes/foam (available at Dresden or the local the chemist) are good ways to keep the eyelids and eyelashes clean.