Eye Health: Dry Eye Syndrome

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

When we blink, tears form a film which spreads over the eye, making the surface smooth and optically clear to give good vision. There are three layers in the thin film of tears: an oily layer, a watery layer and a layer of mucus. These layers each have a specific purpose. To prevent drying of the tears, to clean the eye and to help tears cling to the eye.

If someone has dry eye, there may not be enough tears, or the tears may not cling to the eye well enough. This would cause dry patches on the eye’s surface.

Symptoms

Dry eye may cause your eyes to feel gritty. You may experience feelings of stinging or burning in the eyes. It is quite possible to have watery eyes but still be diagnosed with dry eye because the tears are not of good enough quality to cling to the eye.

How to treat dry eye

Dry eye is treated with artificial tear drops. We recommend you use drops such as Clinitas Soothe or Refresh. These will help to stabilise the tear film. They can be used three to four times a day, particularly when the symptoms are most severe, eg before watching television in the evenings.

You may find it useful to use an ocular lubricant overnight. We would recommend Lubristil gel or Vit A POS. This is a greasy ointment which will blur your vision, so is not suitable for daytime use. The ointment will linger in your eyes very well, making them more comfortable on waking. It is sometimes slightly difficult to put the ointment in as it is so thick, but we can give you advice on how best to use it.

Warm compresses applied to the eyelids for ten minutes will help the eyes produce more of their natural oils.

We also recommend that you drink plenty of water. Your body tissues, including your eyes, will then work more efficiently.

For any further information, to buy treatment drops and ointments or to make an appointment with the Optometrist, please call in to see us or give us a ring on 029 2054 9563. You can also text us on 07407 465645, email us at francesca@pbopticians.co.uk or use the Contact Form