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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eyes are a very common occurrence interfering with comfort and visual function and are more apparent in the winter season. It results from changes in volume (quantity) and chemical composition (quality) of the tear film leaving you with ocular discomfort.

The tear film

The tear film consists of 3 layers, each performing its own function to help keep the ocular surface stable, namely the outer lipid layer, the middle aqueous layer and the inner mucous layer. Failure of one of these layers can result in dry eyes, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca.

Classification of dry eyes

Deficient tears due to gland obstructions
Tear evaporation caused by contact lenses, lids, surface changes or lipid deficiency

What are the symptoms associated with dry eyes

- Foreign body or sand sensation
- Burning or scratchy eyes
- Blurred Vision
- Redness
- Reduced contact lens tolerance
- Teary eyes

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms make sure to book your appointment with one of our Optometrists to have a thorough dry eye examination. 

Causes of dry eye:

- Medications (Anti-histamines, Anti-depressants, Hypertensive, Contraceptive pill)
- Air conditioning and environmental factors such as wind, dust and smoke
- Long hours in front of Computers or TV screens
- Not blinking enough or eyes not closing properly
- Problem with tear ducts
- Contact lenses
- Hormonal changes due to menopause or pregnancy
- LASIK surgery
- Systemic conditions (Allergies, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Collagen vascular and connective tissue diseases)

How to manage your dry eyes:

Once we have established the type dry eye syndrome, we can advise you on the best way to eliminate the cause as well as reduce the symptoms experienced:

• Omega 3-6-9, Flaxseed oil, Dry Eye Caps
• Increase water intake
• Lid scrubs if eyelids are involved
• Warm cloth to improve production of tears and prevent clogging
• Change contact lens material
• Blinking and frequent breaks especially in front of the computer
• Punctal plugs to prevent drainage of tears
• Room Humidifiers
• Lubricants such as Optive, Cellufresh, Teargel or Refresh Liquigel (available in store)

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