Dry Eye and Red Eye Problems
Dry Eye is a common condition in the UK, with up to 33% of people aged over 65 suffering from Dry Eye disease, although it can also affect younger people.
Dry Eye symptoms include:
- itchy eyes
- sore eyes
- a gritty feeling
- red eyes
- blurred vision
- watery eyes
- sensitivity to light
Your eyes have a film of tears over them that plays an important role in helping them stay lubricated. Dry Eye occurs when the tear ducts aren’t producing enough tears or the quality of the tears produced is poor.
Causes of Dry Eye and Red Eye
There are a number of possible causes for Dry Eye. It can be triggered by environmental factors, such as air conditioning, heating, air pollution, dust, smoke or seasonal allergies. Some medical conditions and medications can also cause Dry Eye, including antihistamines and HRT. Dehydration and poor diet can also be to blame, as can spending too long staring at a screen without taking adequate breaks.
Dry Eye is sometimes linked to blepharitis, a condition that causes red, itchy and swollen eyelids, and MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction), which is often the root cause of red eye or Dry Eye. This condition affects the gland that makes the oily layer of the tears, meaning they dry out too quickly, causing discomfort.
Dry Eye and Red Eye assessments
We offer private Dry Eye assessments to diagnose the severity and cause of your symptoms. We may recommend this service to you after an eye exam if the optometrist thinks you would benefit from it. We will discuss your eye health, general health and lifestyle, then examine your tear film before discussing the treatment options available to you.
Dry Eye treatments
Although there is no cure for Dry Eye, the condition can be managed successfully after having a Dry Eye assessment.
We have a number of treatment options available, from eye drops and ointments to ongoing treatment in our Dry Eye/tear clinic. In most cases, recommending specific eye drops is sufficient, but whatever the cause and severity of your condition, we will work with you to put together a personalised treatment plan that suits you.
Don’t go on living with the discomfort of dry, irritated eyes – although there are rarely any long-term effects, if left untreated the condition can become more severe and eventually affect your vision as well as your quality of life.