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Eye Care

Dry Eye

(keratoconjunctivitis sicca)

Dry eye is a condition that is formed from not having enough tears to either lubricate or nourish the surface of the eye.

It is common as we age that we experience a decrease in tear production or that our tear evaporation increases.  These tears or lubrication, however, is essential to maintain our clear vision, create greater eye comfort, reduce eye infections and to get rid of foreign matter that may get into the eye.

As well as those at risk in the 50 plus age group, women are also prone to getting dry eye, either during pregnancy or through menopause.  It is important to regularly consult your optometrist during this period.

Key medications including antihistamines, decongestants, HRT, antidepressants and even some birth control pills have been associated with Dry Eye.

Environmental factors also contribute to dry eye, including changes in seasons, areas of burn offs, pollution or dry office environments.

With the ever increase of digital devices, screen time is a significant cause of dry eye, reducing the number of times we blink (See Digital Eye Strain)

Contact Lens or Laser Surgery may also lead to temporary dry eye.

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Dry Eye (Keratitis sicca) Causes

Dry eyes can develop for many reasons, including:

  • Age 
  • Gender (*Woman)
  • Medications
  • Medical Conditions
  • Environmental conditions
  • Eyelid problems
  • Long term contact lenses
  • Laser Surgery
  • Screen Time


Symptoms may include the following:

  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Discharge
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Eyes feeling dry
  • Persistent use of eye drops
  • Excess tearing followed by periods of dryness
  • Symptoms getting worse later in the day

Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosis

An eye examination will determine if have dry eye and available treatment options will be discussed.

Risk Factors

The possible risk factors for dry eye are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Radiation treatment
  • Medications
  • Previous Eye Surgery

Dry Eye Treatment

It is important to rebalance the amount of tears to the eye to minimise dryness.

Dry Eye Treatment can include

Over the counter dry eyes drops

Consulting your GP about changing medications

Consider all environmental factors – humidifier in the office/home environments where the air is dry

Taking regular breaks from digital devices or using specially designed blue light glasses

Properly fitting and approved sunglasses

Prescription based dry eye medication

Dry Eyes Self Care

You can take the following steps to reduce symptoms of dry eyes:

  • Remember to blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.
  • Increase the humidity in the air at work and at home.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with wraparound frames, to reduce exposure to drying winds and the sun.
  • Nutritional supplementscontaining essential fatty acids may help decrease dry eye symptoms in some people. Ask our optometrist if taking dietary supplements could help your dry eye problems.
  • Avoiding becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water (8 to 10 glasses) each day.

Dry Eye Recommendations 

Mild cases of dry eyes can often be managed using over-the-counter artificial tear solutions.

These can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production.

Preservative-free artificial tear solutions are recommended because they contain fewer additives, which can further irritate the eyes.

Our optometrist might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.

Keep your eyes open!

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Eye Care

Being a third generation optometrist business we have the expertise and the technology to early detect the most common eye problems and provide you with professional eye care guidance and solutions


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