Do you suffer from dry eye syndrome? Horrible, isn’t it? Treatment for dry eye includes cleansing, massage and heat and our team can help improve your outlook on life.
Dry eye syndrome is a debilitating, common condition. Although it can develop at any age, it is more common amongst older people. The good news is that it can be easily treated.
Help for dry eyes
Our Auckland optometrists specialise in treatment for dry eye. Between our Henderson Optometry practice and our optometrists in Newmarket our staff has dedicated over 35 years’ helping dry eye sufferers. We offer an effective in-house treatment to help clear glands and return your eyelids to normal function and we can show you how you can maintain a treatment plan at home.
But firstly, what is dry eye, what causes it, how do you know you have it, and what can be done about it?
What is dry eye?
Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes are not being sufficiently lubricated. Your eyes may be not producing enough tears, or the tears you do have may not be oily enough to lock moisture in, so the water in your tears evaporates too quickly. Lack of tears can lead to an increased risk of infection and, in severe cases, progressive eye disease, such as ulceration of the corneas.
Dry eye may also be caused by oil glands getting clogged and inflamed.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye can be caused by wind exposure, air-conditioning, smoke, dust, dry heat and low humidity and prolonged computer use, which can lead to less frequent blinking and replenishing of tears. Medications, alcohol and caffeine can also be contributing factors.
How do you know you have dry eye?
Dry eye symptoms may include redness, itchiness, eye fatigue grittiness, stinging, blurry vision, and an annoying feeling that there is something stuck in your eye, or watery eyes due to the eyes trying to re-hydrate themselves.
Treatment for dry eye
Treating dry eye not only relieves discomfort, it can help avoid infection or even scarred corneas. Here is how we can help.
Treatment for dry eye involves soothing the eyelids, unplugging any blocked meibomian glands and clearing out any stagnant oily secretions. This daily routine consists of three parts: heat, massage and cleansing.
Heated wheatie bags hold heat better and longer than warm towels. They provide a steady, continuous warmth that effectively unblock oil glands by melting oils so it can flow freely. Heat up the bag in the microwave, then apply the bag to the eyelid area for about ten minutes. Next, massage your eyelids from the inside of your eye to the outside. We sell wheatie bags tailor made for just this job.
Massaging helps to push out the oily fluid from the tiny, clogged glands, and we suggest the 4-point approach. Press on four points from the inside of your eye to the outside, extremely gently. Press and hold for four seconds at each point and repeat five to ten times. Do this twice a day for best results and make sure you look up when massaging the lower lids and down when massaging the upper lids so that you are not pressing on the cornea at the front of the eye.
To massage the eyelids, gently rub along the length of the upper and lower eyelids towards the lashes, sweeping downwards along the upper eyelid, and upwards when moving along the lower eyelid.
One of our Auckland optician team can show you how to do eye massages comfortably and safely.
People with dry eyes tend to rub their eyes, a lot. If you suffer from dry eye, it is very important to clean your eyes and maintain good eyelid hygiene, every day. Eye rubbing can cause inflammation and allow dust to enter the eyes and debris can also build up on the lashes, causing inflammation and infection. Cleansing will remove any build up along the eyelid or on the eyelashes. We recommend an eyelid cleanser, such as Sterilid anti microbial cleanser, a gentle, pH-balanced cleansing solution that is ideal for the delicate skin of the eyelid.
Lubricating eyedrops can provide dry eye relief by replacing tears, while providing your eye surface with the electrolytes it needs. Talk to our optometrists about eyedrops for mild cases of dry eye. We recommend Optimel Manuka Honey Eyedrops for daytime use. They refresh the eye, combat bacteria and reduce inflammation. It may be that you use these in conjunction with lubricating eye drops, such as Theratears Eye Drops, which replace tears while providing your eye surface with the electrolytes it needs.
For more severe cases of dry eyes, we recommend Optimel Eye Gel applied at night time to lower lid margins. It can significantly help reduce bacteria in cases of chronic lid disease.