Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome is very common. It is usually caused by a reduction in the quantity or quality of the tear film which is essential to lubricate the eyes and maintain corneal transparency and in consequence, clear vision. the most common reasons for dryness is age, the normal ageing process when our bodies produce less oil, roughly 60% less in our sixties compared to teenage years. This oil deficiency adversely affects the tear film. With less oil to seal the aqueous layer, this watery layer (90% of the thickness of the tear film) evaporates much faster, which results in the normal tear film breaking up causing dry areas on the cornea. Dry eye may be caused by a plethora of factors, amongst them, hot, dry or windy climates, high altitudes, air-conditioning or cigarette smoke. A common observation of patients with dry eye is that they find their eyes become more irritable when spending long periods reading or working on a computer. This is due to a reduction in the blink rate. Normally we blink every 5 or 6 seconds but this can drop to once every 20 or 30 seconds when concentrating, especially on close work. If the tear film is compromised in any way, it breaks up resulting in increased soreness, itchiness and irritation. Stopping periodically to rest and blink can make the eyes more comfortable. Contact lens wearers may also suffer from dryness because they demand good tear patency to maintain good comfort. General health conditions, such Parkinsons or Sjogrens diseasee, hyperthyroidism and Vitamin A deficiency may also cause dry eyes. Dry eye is a condition which is rarely resolved completely but often reappears intermittently and needs to be managed. Hot compresses, increased lid hygiene and eye drops can all help in this respect.
Request an Appointment
Request an appointment online and our staff will answer any questions you may have, discuss your individual requirements, and offer expert advice.