Dry eye is a chronic condition that results from insufficient production of tears or excessive evaporation of the tear film that covers the eye surface including the cornea. Dry eye is very common and affects millions of people worldwide and is one of the most common reasons why patients visit the eye clinic. Dry eye is usually associated with dryness, scratchiness, or burning of the eyes.
Some people experience a foreign body sensation or feeling that something is in the eye. The condition can also produce watery eyes because dryness can stimulate access tearing as a reflux. In its early stages, dry eye causes mild discomfort but it may become very uncomfortable as the condition progresses.
One of the keys to improving this condition and avoiding damage to the eyes is to recognise the symptoms of dry eye early and to seek treatment for it. Without treatment chronic dry eye can lead to eye infection, scarring and possibly impaired vision. Dry eye condition can arise from various external influences such as one’s environment; in other cases are related changes in the body nervous, hormonal, and immune systems.
Overtime, inflammatory changes can interfere with the production of normal tears when this occurs the eye produces fewer tears that are less effective. This results in a clear film that evaporates more quickly and thus provides less moisture and protection for the eye surface.
When tear film protection diminished the eyes may experience painful symptoms of dry eye and damage to the eye surface may occur. Risk Factors:A person’s age, health, environment, and lifestyle can all affect ones risk of developing dry eye. Dry eye is more common among people over age 40 and especially among women around the age of menopause.
Patients with systemic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, rosacea, and Sjogren’s syndrome are also at risk. Certain medications can worsen dry eye and its symptoms. These can include certain medications for the treatment of depression, high blood pressure, allergies, hormone replacement therapy, and diuretics. While they are not the root cause of the condition, environmental factors including air-pollution, dry weather, and persistent wind can worsen the symptoms of dry eye. Heating and air conditioning can create similar environmental conditions indoors.
Everyday activities such as driving, reading, focusing on a computer screen, or watching television can also worsen dry eyes symptoms.
Dry eye treatment is provided at The Eye Clinic London. There is no cure for extreme dry eyes, however many conservative traditional dry eye treatments exist including hot compresses and lid massage to unblock oil glands and help maintain lid hygiene thus reducing risk of eye infection.
Artificial tears for use throughout the day and lubricants for night use may be prescribed by our team. After assessment, some cases require anti-biotic drops to be instilled into the eyes to treat eye infection. Traditional methods can help to treat dry eyes; however extreme dry eye cases may require systemic treatment or minor intervention.
Our highly skilled cornea specialist can help by thoroughly assessing the eye and eye surface using various investigations and give advice on customised treatment plans. We endeavour to provide treatment second to none and to deliver treatment of the highest calibre in the UK.