Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome is an extremely common condition, affecting more than 4 million Australians.

Dry Eye Syndrome is an extremely common condition, affecting more than 4 million Australians. While symptoms of dry eye can vary, most people experience some degree of irritated, gritty, red, watery eyes and often blurred vision.  Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by an imbalance in the different components of the tear layer that coat and protect the eye surface.

Dry eye is a chronic and progressive condition, and correctly diagnosing the cause is essential to a successful management plan so that both greater eye comfort and sharper vision can be achieved. At Somerville and Merrin Optometrists, offer a comprehensive assessment of your dry eyes and have a wide range of management options to provide you with the most effective solution.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: We have recently installed some equipment for a complete Dry Eye Assessment. This is the Oculus K5

The Oculus assessment helps the Optometrist to determine the main issues causing the Dry Eye and subsequently tailor the treatment to relieve symptoms.

Treatment options for Dry Eye Syndrome include:

  • Artificial Tears
  • Therapeutic Medicated Eye Drops
  • Blephasteam Treatments
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy
  • Punctal Plugs
  • Nutritional Supplements & Lifestyle

Artificial tears

Many day-to-day activities can contribute to dry eyes; computer use, schoolwork, reading, driving and air-conditioning.  For mild dry eye, artificial tears may be the only treatment required, and we can help to select the best option for your eyes.

Therapeutic Medicated Eye Drops

For some people, medicated eye drops such as anti-inflammatories may be needed as short or long term therapy to more adequately manage their condition. If indicated, our optometrists are Therapeutically Endorsed to prescribe the required medicated drops.

Blephasteam and Meibomian Gland Expression

A large proportion of dry eye is caused by small oil glands along the eyelids frequently becoming blocked with Meibom oil secretion. If left untreated, the glands can stop functioning, degenerate and progressively worsen symptoms. One technique to combat this problem is in-office Blephasteam treatment, where warm fitted goggles melt the stagnant oil, which is then cleared and expressed from the glands.  This procedure is often combined with home therapies such as warm compresses and lid cleaning.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment is a hand-held device delivering short periods of specific wavelength light onto the skin around the eye in aim of improving the blood supply to the eye lid area and reducing inflammation. Usually four treatments over a period of a few months are required.  To determine if you could benefit from the use of IPL please contact us at our Range Shopping Centre Practice to discuss your treatment.

Watch this video to see how this technique works.

Punctal Plugs

Some people suffer from a deficiency in the production of the ‘aqueous’ or watery component of the tear layer.  If an insufficient amount of aqueous is being produced, small artificial plugs can be quickly and painlessly inserted to retain any tears on the eye surface for a longer period of time. There are different options from temporary dissolvable plugs to more permanent plugs.

Nutritional Supplements & Lifestyle

As part of your overall dry eye management, significant research has established that increasing your intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids and lifestyle alterations such as drinking plenty of water, taking regular breaks from computer work, and being careful with fans and air-conditioning use, can assist in reducing dry eye symptoms.

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