What are the treatment options for dry eyes?
Dry eyes are incredibly common. Everybody who is over the age 60 has a degree of dry eye. Even people aged 40 can get dry eyes. Particularly those who are working in atmospheres with air conditioning or computers – they are not blinking. If they got out to the cinema, they’re not blinking.
And so we get a lot of patients who come along here wanting an advice. Some of them come along a say: “My eyes feel watery”. Then we examine them and we find out that they’ve got some inflammation of eyelid margin which is blepharitis and this is causing an irritation. It is actually causing them a dry eye and they are getting a reflex watering what makes the eyes feel damp. But when we look at the special optical microscope to examine the front of the eye that shows me the dry spots of the eye.
I can advise then a treatment and I have to look for blepharitis (inflammation), because if you can treat blepharitis, you can get rid off a lot of dry eye. Once the blepharitis is treated with various cleaning solutions, ointments, diet, possibly some tablets, I recommend lots of eyedrops. There are very good lubricant drops available now. We have these and we can dispense from here. These are lubricant eyedrops that don’t contain any preservatives, don’t have to be kept in the fridge and can be kept open more than a month. Things have come a long way with the lubricants to make the eyes much more comfortable.
For particularly bad dry eyes we have punctual plugs. They are tiny little silicon plugs which are placed in the opening of the tear ducts which are at the corners of the eyes. This means that the tears that you produce stay around longer and don’t evaporate.
More about Jane Olver
Ms Jane Olver is the founder of Clinica London and a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon. Her special expertise is in oculoplastic and cosmetic eye surgery including eyelids and lacrimal surgery. She is specialised in endoscopic lacrimal surgery for watering eyes in adults and children. She has over 20 years’ experience in treating people with eye problems just like you, and has published extensively in scientific journals about Ophthalmology and Lacrimal Surgery and is the author of the books “Ophthalmology at a Glance” and “Colour Atlas of Lacrimal Surgery”. At Clinica London, she is responsible for the Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery part, as well as patients with eye, eyelid and tear duct problems, and acute eye problems.