Dry eye syndrome occurs when there is a significant lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye.
It means either your eyes aren’t producing enough tears on the surface of your eye to keep your eyes moist and help wash away dust and debris, or your tears are evaporating too quickly. Your tears are made up of two layers – water and oil. Most of the time the oil layer is where the problem lies.
What it feels like:
It feels like your eyes are constantly gritty and dry and they can become red, irritated, and sore. Strangely enough, watery eyes can also be a sign of dry eyes, as sometimes excess tears are produced in response to the dryness and irritation.
As there are so many causes of dry eyes, your treatment plan will vary depending on the cause of your dry eyes and your individual symptoms.
Dryness, grittiness or scratchiness
Soreness or irritation
Burning or watering
Many different things can cause dry eye syndrome, such as:
Age - dry eye syndrome affects 75% of people over the age of 65.
Hormonal changes can cause decreased tear production.
Extended use of some contact lenses can result in dry eye from the corneal oxygen and nutrient deficiency.
Blepharitis can often cause dry eye symptoms due to inflammation of the eyelid margins.
Computer use causes most people to blink 50% less frequently (about 7 times per minute vs. a normal rate of around 12-15 times per minute).
Many medications can make dry eyes worse.
Diseases that may be associated with dry eyes include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's Syndrome, Diabetes, Asthma, Thyroid disease, Lupus, and Glaucoma.
LASIK Surgery temporarily disrupts the ocular surface/lacrimal gland unit.
Take our dry eye test now to find out if you
could be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome...
Why is dry eye syndrome worse in winter, and what can you do about it?
Why is dry eye syndrome worse in winter?
The cold winter months can cause our eyes to feel dry and irritated. If you already suffer from dry eye syndrome, spending more time indoors with heating and watching TV or using screens can make your condition worse.
The good news is, there are some easy things you can do to help alleviate dry eyes through the winter months.
Minimise the use of heaters or lower the temperature so it is not too hot.
Use a humidifier to prevent the air in your home from drying out. Opening windows, even on cold days, can also help.
Blink more often. We tend to blink less when using a computer, reading or doing anything that needs a lot of visual focus – and this makes dry eyes worse.
Try to spend some time outdoors or away from the TV or screens when you can. If this is not practical, consider using lenses with added digital screen protection - even if you do not wear glasses normally. These are designed to relax and protect your eyes from digital screens, all day long. The special lens filters out some of the blue-violet light emitted from digital screens, which can cause premature eye ageing and helps to ease eyestrain.
Remove eye make-up thoroughly from your lids and lashes.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body and your eyes hydrated.
Wear quality sunglasses when it is bright outside – especially in windy conditions.
3 easy ways to care for your eyes this winter
AVAILABLE INSTORE NOW:
The Ultimate Winter Eye Care Pack.
Wheat eye mask
One month supply of Lacritec
Blephadex Eyelid Foam Cleanser
NOW ONLY $69
1. Relax your eyes with a wheat bag
Using a wheat bag on tired or sore eyes relaxes and rejuvenates them. For sufferers of dry or watery eyes, a heated eye mask softens oil in the meibomian glands which helps increase the flow of oil across the eye surface. Pro tip: Apply for 5 minutes, twice a day.
2. Take a supplement designed for dry eyes
A specific combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 Oils, together with Gamma-Linolenic Acid has been shown to help with dry eye symptoms, increase tear production and improve tear quality. Lacritec helps to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes such as irritation and burning.
3. Cleanse your eyelids the right way
It is possible to manage the symptoms of discomfort and itching caused by blepharitis, dry eye syndrome, meibomian gland dysfunction and rosacea. Blephadex Eyelid Foam Cleanser contains a blend of tea tree oil and coconut oil. It is effective, soothing and easy to use.
If you think you might have dry eye syndrome, book an appointment with one of our Optometrists today.