Dry Eye is a sore, gritty feeling caused by not enough tears being produced, or something affecting the quality of tears.
Who is at risk of Dry Eye?
- 75% of people over 65 are affected
- Females – hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause or the use of contraceptives.
- Those using medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, acne treatment and blood pressure tablets.
- Those with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, asthma, thyroid disease and other immune diseases.
- Smokers – In addition to dry eyes, smoking has been linked to serious eye problems, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Computer users – tend to blink less.
- Contact lens wearers
- Eye Makeup wearers
Have you ever heard of the Demodex Mite?
This is another cause of Dry Eye!
Nearly every single person over the age of 18 has small mites living in the skin of their eyelids. When demodex mites nest in the eyelash follicles of your eyelids, they can cause an inflammatory response that leads to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD. MGD is also closely associated with Blepharitis, which occurs when bacteria builds up around the eyelashes.
With both MGD and Blepharitis you can have red, painful, irritated eyes and some will have crustiness around the eyelashes. These symptoms, together with burning of the eyes, blurry vision and watery eyes would indicate you have dry eye syndrome. MGS and Blepharitis cause Dry Eye because the meibomian glands are not able to produce the oils needed to prevent evaporation of the tear film.
What can you do to get relief?
There are treatments for MGD, Blepharitis and Dry Eye Syndrome
In the first instance one of the best things you can do to combat dry eye is to apply heat. Every night use a hot compress such as a D.E.R.M Mask for 5 to 10 minutes and then gently massage the eyelash root area, both top and bottom of the eyelid. The heat will help to open the oil glands, and help encourage the release of the hardened gland secretion that clogs the gland.
Bead and Instant Dry Eye Therapies
Moist Heat therapy soothes and restores dry, tired eyes. Soft flexible goggles, water and reusable get packs (Thermoeyes ™) are used to create a warm, humid environment around the eyes that helps stimulate tear production and slow the evaporation of tears. You do not need a microwave for a Tranquileyes Mask – the heat is produced instantly!
It is also recommended to use an antibacterial eye drop or Gel. Optimel Manuka Dry Eye Drops help stabilise the surface health of the eye and provide relief from dry eye symptoms such as sore, irritated eyes and eyelids. Optimel Manuka Forte Eye Gel contains 98% Manuka Honey and is preservative free. The drops and gel can improve tear quality, reducing eye discomfort and reduces lid margin redness.
Use in conjunction with an eyelid cleansing wipe – Lid ‘N Lash Plus Cleanser formulated with 5% Tea Tree oil has anti-bacterial properties that with one easy daily application will help remove ocular debris, reduce extra ocular inflammation and enhance the effectiveness of tear Lubricants. Cleans and disinfects in one simple step and helps fight against Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. The Tea Tree Oil treatment is also great for removing makeup and getting rid of the Demodex mite!
All of the above will bring you relief from the symptoms of Dry Eyes. There are other treatments however that give you relief for longer. Click on the following link for more information.https://thompsonoptometrists.co.nz/ipl/