Professional Independent Optometry

Dry eye

inserting eye drops into a dry eye

Dry Eye is one of the most common conditions that we see in our clinics. The Blue Mountains study suggested that approximately 15% of Australians suffer from dry eyes. This figure is likely to be much higher for office workers due to the long exposure to air conditioned environments and using computers.

Tear Layer

Every time we blink, the eye is coated with a thin layer of tears. Tears are essential to the eye as they

  • Keep the eyes moist
  • Protect the eye from debris and infection
  • Help maintain clear vision
  • Dry Eye develops when the eye is unable to produce enough tears or when the tear layer evaporates too quickly.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms can vary depending on the severity and type of dry eye. You may be surprised to know that many people with dry eye complain of watery eyes! The symptoms include:

  • Dryness
  • Grittiness
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Causes

    There are many potential causes:

  • Age
  • Environment (eg: smoke, air conditioning, wind)
  • Contact lens wear
  • Natural hormonal changes
  • Medications
  • Infections on the eyelids (Blepharitis)
  • Treatment

    Treating dry eye can be frustrating as the symptoms will vary from day to day. Treatment options will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. Traditionally treatment involved using drops to replace tears and lubricate the eye. New treatment options now try to treat the underlying cause.

    Our optometrists can fully assess your eyes and advise you on the best treatment options for your eyes.

    For more information about dry eye products follow the link to our product review page

    Things to help your dry eye

  • Wear sunglasses outside on a windy day to reduce the evaporation of the tears
  • Keep the air vents away from your eyes while driving
  • Remember to lubricate when in dry environments
  • Try to remember to blink more frequently.
  • References

    Chia EM, Mitchell P, Rochtchina E, et al. Prevalence and associations of dry eye syndrome in an older population: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Clin Exp Ophthal 2003;31:229-32

    This information has been provided as a general guide and should not be used to diagnose or manage your eye condition. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner. Regular eye examinations are recommended.

    Dry eye symptoms

    Factors affecting dry eye