Are You Suffering from Dry Eyes?
At Westmead Eyes Optometrists we have a special interest in the treatment of dry eye and offer a range of dry eye therapies in Western Sydney. Dry eye is a common condition and symptoms can range in severity from occasional grittiness to constant discomfort and blur. We understand that dry eye may significantly impact your quality of life and be a burden to you.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can result from a variety of environmental and health factors. These include: air conditioned environments, computer work, advancing age, medications, pregnancy, skin disease, eye surgery, dry climates and smoking. Dry eye is related to a deficiency of watery tears (Sjogren’s, Stevens’ Johnson, Graft vs Host disease) and/or a problem with oil production (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction). A diagnosis of blepharitis is common in many dry eye patients. Dry eye tends to worsen with time if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of dry eye disease?
- gritty, itching, or burning feeling
- excessive tearing
- red eyes
- eyes feeling tired
- increased light sensitivity
- constant use of eye drops
- eyes feeling dry
- pulling out strands of mucus from the eyes
What can be done for dry eye symptoms?
Dry eye can be successfully managed and often we are able to significantly improve your quality of life. Treatment options are tailored to your specific needs. Most causes of dry eye are longstanding, and treatment plants are often just as long. It can take up to 3 months for significant results to be seen, and up to 6 months for more advanced cases.
If there is any inflammation, the cause needs to be determined and treated. Often this will include using eyelid wipes/cleaners and warm compresses. We may use a short course of medication to break the inflammatory cycle.
Every case is different, and we have a large range of treatment options. Some management options are detailed in our post here
Treatment options for dry eye include:
- Artificial eye drops and ointments to replenish the watery and/or oily tear layer (Hylo-Forte, NovaTears)
- Manuka honey eye drops or gel to reduce inflammation (Optimel)
- Hot compresses
- Lid scrubs (Ocuosft Lid Scrub)
- Hypochlorous acid sprays to reduce bacteria around the eyelids (Ocusoft HypoChlor)
- Meibomian gland expression and Blephasteam®
- Topical steroids and oral antibiotics to reduce inflammation
- Novel prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation (Xiidra, Ikervis)
- Vitamin supplements (Lacritec)
- Dietary changes
- Punctal plugs
Shop online for eye drops and supplements for dry eye.
Dry Eye Therapy with Blephasteam® Goggles
Blephasteam® is the first eyelid warming device to deliver latent moist heat therapy to unblock the Meibomian glands. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is often associated with dry eye disease. This device provides an environment that naturally enhances tear quality and has been proven to be successful in the treatment of a range of lid margin and ocular surface disorders. In case of MGD, the oily secretions are blocked. This can lead to the glands dying off and produce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
How does Blephasteam® work?
The Blephasteam® eyelid warming device safely warms the glands at a temperature high enough to melt meibomian gland secretions and obstructions without harming the lid skin. The temperature remains stable for the entire treatment session. Each treatment session only takes approximately 30 minutes. Your meibomian glands will be massaged at the end to open up the glands and unblock them (otherwise called Meibomian Gland Expression)
Combined with traditional eyelid hygiene therapy this device is a significant breakthrough for the treatment of patients who suffer from chronic dry eye. If you are experiencing chronic, dry, gritty, irritated and/or watery eyes then you may be suitable for this procedure.