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Dry Eyes Toowoomba | Dry Eyes Highfields

Dry Eye

Dry eye is a very common problem for Australians, especially Queenslanders who live in hot, dusty and dry environments.

Dry Eye Symptoms

Symptoms of dry eye include, itchiness (particularly in the corner of the eyes), stinging or burning, redness, tired eyes (and the feeling that they need to be closed to bring relief). In some instances they may also include occasional blurred vision and mucus around the eyelids.

Some eye allergies can have similar symptoms to dry eye and be difficult to differentiate.  Our optometrists will be able to determine whether the problem is dry eye or an allergy or a combination of both.

Dry Eye Causes

Finding the cause is an essential part of managing the problem, as sometimes there can be a systemic cause, which can be difficult to treat.

The leading cause of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction. The meibomian glands surround the eye on the inner eyelid. In some patients these glands can become blocked so they do not secrete enough oil into the tears. The tears then evaporate too quickly and the eyes become dry.

Other causes include poor tear production and quality, incomplete blinking, blepharitis (inflammation and infection of the eyelids and eyelashes), after some surgeries and from certain medications. The wearing of contact lenses and the incorrect removal of eye make up, can also be contributors.

Dry eye is more common in women over the age of 40 and can be exacerbated in air-conditioned environments, such as an office, and by lengthy screen use.  The harder the eyes work, the less they blink which makes the problem worse.

Dry Eye Treatment

Our optometrists will seek to understand the cause of a patient’s dry eye and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of dry eye, our optometrists can prescribe certain prescription eye drops to treat inflammation and infection.

At Neilson Eyecare, we offer a variety of management options, such as eye drops, eyelid cleansers and heated eye masks such as Blephasteam. Blephasteam is a gentle heat goggle worn on the eyes, in our practice rooms, for up to 15 minutes. The heat assists in melting the oil in the clogged glands.

Manuka honey in an eye drop form has been very successful for many of our patients in reducing the inflammation associated with dry eye and blepharitis. Some of our patients have been using this for over 10 years.

Our optometrists can also offer advice on lifestyle and diet that can help to alleviate dry eye symptoms.

 Patients can find more information on the Dry Eye website – https://nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye

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