Dry Eyes

What Is It And How Is It Treated
Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes don’t make enough tears

WHY DO DRY EYES OCCUR?

Dry eye syndrome can occur if your eyes don’t produce enough tears or your tears evaporate too quickly. This may happen if any part of the tear production process becomes disrupted and the quantity or quality of your tears is affected.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms of dry eye syndrome are mild for most people, although more severe cases can be painful and lead to complications. Symptoms usually affect both eyes and often include: feelings of dryness, grittiness or soreness that gets worse throughout the day. Other symptoms include: burning red eyes, eyelids that stick together when you wake up, temporarily blurred vision which usually improves when you blink.

GETTING ADVICE

If you have persistent but mild symptoms of dry eye syndrome we recommend that you make an appointment with us. We can examine you to check if the problem is caused by an underlying condition. We can then decide the best treatment for your symptoms.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR EYES

This short NHS video explains why your eye health is important and also provides handy lifestyle information on how to look after your eyes better.

TREATING DRY EYES

The exact treatment for dry eye syndrome depends on whether symptoms are caused by: Decreased production of tears, tears that evaporate too quickly or an underlying condition.

LUBRICANT TREATMENTS

Mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome can usually be treated using lubricant eye treatments that consist of a range of drops, gels and ointments.

ANTI-INFLAMATORY TREATMENTS

The underlying problem with long-term dry eye syndrome is inflammation in and around the eye. It is often possible to prescribe anti-inflammatory treatments, but these can only be obtained after you’ve seen an ophthalmologist.

SURGERY

If your dry eyes are severe and fail to respond to other forms of treatment, surgery may be an option. Two types of surgery sometimes used to treat dry eye syndrome are Punctual Occlusion which involves using small plugs to seal your tear ducts. The other is Salivary gland autotransplantation which is an uncommon procedure and only recommended after all other treatment options have been tried.

Contact Your Local Practice for More Information