Dry eye or Dry Eye Syndrome is a very common condition that increases with age and probably affects 2 million people in the UK – usually more women than men. Dry eye occurs when people don’t have either enough tears, or the correct composition of tears, on the surface of their eyes to lubricate the eyes and keep them comfortable. For some this can be a maddening condition that can frustrate as much as it does irritate.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Hendon Eyecare Opticians are constantly looking to find new ways to tackle dry-eye, and we have many options that can help relieve the sufferer.
The tear film is composed of three layers.
Each component layer is dependent on the other for proper function. The outer oily layer of the tear film is produced by the meibomian glands in the eyelids and reduces evaporation of the tears. The thick middle watery layer is made by the lacrimal gland above the upper eyelid and washes away irritants. The inner mucus layer is secreted by the goblet cells in the conjunctiva (mucous lining) of the eyelids and helps the tear film stick to the cornea.
Simplistically, there are three main components of Dry Eye and one individual may have one, two or all three components:
Underproduction – where there is poor production of fluid by the lacrimal glands
Evaporative – tears evaporate too quickly. Result of poor oil production by eyelid meibomian glands.
Inflammatory – seen in conjunction with dry eye and requires specific treatment
Symptoms and Signs
These symptoms worsen as the day goes on. Stringy mucus may appear in or around the eyes. Usually patients who have dry eye usually are aware of their condition. Patients with the most severe disease are at increased risk of developing corneal infection, scarring or ulceration. These conditions can cause permanent vision loss, so it is important to seek professional help if you have severe symptoms of dry eye.
Dry eye does not frequently cause blindness, but as it is such an uncomfortable condition, it is a common reason for seeking assistance. Furthermore, dry eye syndrome can in addition to discomfort, can impair vision with a decreased ability to perform activities that require visual attention, such as reading
Hendon Eyecare Opticians offers a fully comprehensive dry eye consultation inclusive of dry testing. Your consultant will perform a thorough examination and provide an explanation for the reasons why the eye is dry as well offer a course of treatment.
Please note dry eye is often a chronic condition and can take a while before there is any perceived improvement.
Book a Consultation to have your Dry Eye evaluated at Hendon Eyecare Opticians.