Dry Eye

Dry eye can affect people of all ages, and is actually an abnormality in the tear film rather than dry eyes, as often people with ‘dry eyes’ will complain of their eyes being very watery.

Tears have several important functions:

  • Maintaining the front surface of the eye moist and comfortable
  • Washing away debris and waste products from the eye, such as dust and small foreign bodies
  • Providing nutrients to the eye to keep it healthy

Symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sore or stinging eyes
  • Sandy, gritty or scratchy eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Burning or irritated eyes
  • Sensation of dryness
  • Persistently watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Decreased tolerance to contact lenses

Dry eye can be caused by many things. The most common causes are:

  • Environment, such as dry windy weather, heaters, air conditioners and cigarette smoke.
  • Concentration can lead to dry eyes as we do not blink as often, leading to an unstable tear film.
  • As we age our tear glands produce fewer lubricating tears. At the age of 65, the tear glands produce only 40% of the lubricating tears that it produced at the age of 18.
  • Hormonal changes, due to the contraceptive pill, pregnancy and menopause may result in changes to the tear film stability and tear production.
  • Medications, such as antihistamines, diuretics, anti-anxiety.
  • Arthritis and related conditions such as Sjogren’s Syndrome.
  • Blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.
  • Contact lens wear.

Treatment of dry eye depends on the type and severity. Make a Booking today to see one of our optometrists who will prescribe the best treatment for you.

Pterygium

A pterygium is a lump of tissue that grows on the surface of the eye, which can become red, raised and sore. Its causes are not known but people with exposure to ultraviolet light and hot and dry environments are more likely to develop a pterygium. The treatment options for pterygium is protecting the eyes from ultraviolet light and in advanced cases surgical removal to prevent it from affecting vision. Pterygia are not dangerous but it is always best to get a pterygium checked to make sure it is not something more serious. Make a Booking to see one of our optometrists to get the advice on management and preventing further damage.

Floaters

Floaters are small, dark, shadowy shapes that float inside the eye and can be seen in the field of vision. They may look like tiny spots, specks, clear bubbles or threads that move whenever you move your head or eyes. They occur when the clear jelly inside the eye, known as the vitreous, breaks down. Floaters are usually more common as we age, but if you have a sudden onset of floaters, or an increase in the number of floaters along with flashing lights it is important to make a Booking urgently to ensure it is not anything more serious.

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