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Dry eye is a common eye condition which can afflict anyone, however is more likely to affect people in the over 50 age bracket.

It frequently starts with an infection of the eyelids, known as blepharitis. Blepharitis causes inflammation of the eyelid rims, itchiness, and crusting around the lash line (particularly first thing in the morning). If left untreated, it can disrupt the production of tear film and cause Dry Eye.

Although low-grade blepharitis is a chronic condition, it usually responds well to appropriate management such as:

  • cleaning around the edge of the eyelids with a warm, wet cotton bud or clean face cloth.
  • eye drops (artificial tears).
  • blephasteam – a pair of goggles designed to bathe and relieve the eye area with warm, moist air.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

The healthy eye produces tear film; with each blink it is distributed across the eyeball, cleansing and protecting it from bacteria.

Dry Eye can develop if there is a blockage in the Meibomian gland, preventing the secretion of tear film (perhaps after a case of blepharitis); or if it evaporates too quickly.

Sufferers report symptoms such as red, sore eyes; light sensitivity; blurring and visual disturbances; and difficulties with wearing contact lenses. Dry Eye Syndrome is most frequently seen in women following menopause, and people with arthritis.

Dry Eye Syndrome

 

 

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants.
  • Hormonal changes eg birth control medication, pregnancy or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
  • Health conditions such as diabetes, lupus, and thyroid disorders.
  • Not blinking enough – for example, spending prolonged periods in front of a computer screen, or focusing in shooting sports.
  • Trauma to the eye, and sometimes after laser surgery.
  • Environmental factors such as smoke, wind, and lack of humidity.

Diagnosing Dry Eye

With many of us spending more and more time in air conditioning or staring at screens, we have noticed a rise in clients with Dry Eye Syndrome at our Brisbane optometrist clinic.

If you suspect you may be suffering from Dry Eye, we recommend you book an eye examination at Aphrodite Livanes Optometrists for accurate diagnosis and the latest treatment options.

 

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