Sheppards Opticians.php

Sheppards Opticians.php

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Dry Eye

Dry eye

 

Dry eye is a very common complaint prompting patients to visit their optometrist or health care professional.

Dry eye is usually caused by problems with the tear film that lubricates the eye.Dry eye can be categorised into two groups which may occur independently or in combination with each other. The tear component may be normal or depleted.If depleted dry eye is caused by an abnormality in the lacrimal gland.When there is sufficient tears but they evaporate, caused by reduced or abnormal lipid prduction(this lipid layer covers the water layer) or abnormalities of the ocular surface. In addition to this lubricating function, we produce tears in response to emotional or physical stimuli e.g. a piece of grit or an eyelash in the eye.

What causes Dry Eye? Dry eye syndrome has many causes.

Dehydration: It is not only our skin and organs get de-hydrated but our eyes are affected also.

Ageing: One of the most common reasons for dryness is associated with the natural ageing process. As we get older our bodies produce less oils, including the oily outer layer of the tear film. This oily layer forms a protective coating over the tears and stops them from evaporating. A deficiency in this protective layer allows tears to evaporate and leaves areas of exposure on the surface of the eye.

Medications: Certain medications can influence the quantity / quality of tears produced eg Beta blockers,contraceptive pill,sleeping tablets and many more.

Medical conditions may also cause dry eye including: Thyroid conditions, Rheumatic or internal disorders such as Polyarthritis, Diabetis,LupusParkinson’s Disease, and Sjogren’s Syndrome,Hormonal changes eg menoupause,Neuroparalysis(stroke)

Contact lens wear can heighten dryness symptoms, as often water-based lenses will absorb moisture from the tear film, reducing the quantity of tears remaining.

VDU Work: People working on VDUs may find they experience dryness symptoms specifically at work. It has been reported that people working on VDUs for long periods at a time tend to blink less often. This allows tears to evaporate more readily.

Malnutrition:A good balanced diet with omega-3s.

Chronic use of vaso-constricting eye drops.

Lid Disease:Blepharitis of the lids is a cause of tear problems.

 

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Itching, Burning, Irritation, Redness, Blurred vision that improves with blinking. Excessive tearing and Light sensitivity. Feeling of tiredness in eyes.Adhesion of lids to eyeballs.

Symptoms can often be worse in an environment where there is a lot of air conditioning / central heating.

Treatment:

The ideal treatment would be to eliminate the cause of the problem but that is not always possible. People need to take certain medications and could put their health at risk if they stopped just so as to avoid the side effect of dry eyes. It is probably not practical to avoid air conditioning or central heating if you work in an office. So the following are available options -

 Artifical tears and ocular lubricants: Your GP can prescribe drops and ointments, usually available without prescription, to help lubricate the eye and alleviate symptoms. Often a watery drop may be used during the day and a thicker gel-like ointment at night.

General Advice for Dry Eye Sufferers:

Drink plenty of water

Blink more frequently if working on a VDU or reading for long periods.

Avoid excessive exposure to air conditioning and central heating where possible.If it is not possible use a humidifer or place open containers of water around the workplace.

If you wear contact lenses ask your optometrist about having a refit with more advanced lenses suitable for dry eye eg. silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Contact lenses may be removed and rewetted once or twice during the day to alleviate some of the symptoms.Reduce exposure of eyes to smoky environments. Use swimming goggles to avoid contact with chlorine

In offices and cars fans should be directed away from the eyes as the movng air will cause tear instability and increase the need for blinking

Cold and windy weather causes the lipid layer of the tears to break up so the use of wrap-around spectacles or sunglasses for outdoor use.

Blepharitis is controlled by regular lid scrubs (which may be purchased at Sheppard opticians) Warm compresses and gentle manipulation of the lids will help to free blocked glands or use The EYE bag ,which may be heated in the Microwave(as per instructions on bag)

Where lid disease is chronic and severe you will need to see your GP for antiobitics

Get some extra omega-3 oils into your diet.Flaxseed oil is available in capsular form

Come into Sheppard Opticians and have a dry eye assessment.

 

Come in and see us!

Branch Opening Hours:

Mon: 9:30 – 5:30
Tue: 9:30 – 5:30
Wed: 9:30 – 5:30
Thu: Roscrea
  9:30 – 5:30
Thu: Nenagh/Thurles
  9:30 – 7:30
Fri: 9:30 – 5:30
Sat: 9:30 – 5:30

Nenagh | Roscrea | Thurles

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