At Home Treatments
Our optometrists will often advise frequent use of heat treatment to the eyelids in conditions such as dry eye syndrome, meibomian gland dysfunction, blepharitis, chalazion and stye treatment and for sore, gritty eyes. Heat has been shown to be effective in not only easing the symptoms of such conditions but also helps the underlying cause.
Products such as BlephaSteam goggles, the MGDRx EyeBag, TheraPearl Eye Mask and Optase Moist Heat Eye Mask may be suggested. In more severe cases we may advise in-office IPL treatment to speed up the process.
Depending on the type and severity of your dry eye and/or blepharitis we may suggest a lid hygiene product, often in conjunction with heat treatment. Such products are specially designed for cleansing the eyelid and eyelashes and offer an excellent and often better alternative to using baby shampoo.
We stock a large variety of eyelid cleaning products and tailor our advice to the underlying cause of your issues. There are many potential underlying causes including staphylococcus bacteria, seborrhoeic dermatitis and demodex mites. Each require a different treatment plan and a different lid hygiene product.
We may suggest eyelid products including Cliradex Wipes, BlephaDemodex Wipes, BlephaClean Wipes, Blephasol, Optase Tea Tree Oil Lid Wipes, Ocusoft Plus wipes, Ocusoft Foam, Ocusoft Plus foam, TheraTears Sterilid and many more depending on the type and severity of your eyelid issue.
In more stubborn or severe cases we may also advise BlephEx treatment, an in-office surgical cleaning procedure to help speed up the process.
Artificial tears and ocular lubricants are an important aspect of treating dry eye symptoms. Detailed assessment of your tear volume, tear evaporation time, tear viscosity, lipid layer thickness, tear film osmolarity, tear inflammatory levels and assessment of the front of the eye and eyelids using diagnostic staining agents will enable us to select an artificial tear specific to your needs and type of dry eye rather than simply picking an eye drop at random from the shelf.
As a result we stock a huge array of different artificial tears and ocular lubricants, with all manner of different ingredients to specifically target certain types of dry eye.
Our optometrists will make recommendations based on the results of many detailed tests using our cutting-edge diagnostic equipment.
Lubricant treatments (artificial tears)
Mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome can usually be treated using lubricant eye treatments that consist of a range of drops, gels and ointments.
Some eye drops contain preservatives to prevent harmful bacteria from growing inside the medicine bottle. If your symptoms mean you need to use these eye drops more than six times a day, it's better to use preservative-free eye drops. This is particularly important if you have severe dry eye disease because preservatives used in large quantities or over a prolonged period of time (months or years) may damage the delicate cells on the surface of the eye or cause inflammation.
If you wear soft contact lenses, you may also need to use a lubricant that is preservative-free, as preservatives attach to the contact lens and damage the eye. These types of eye drops may be more expensive.
'Oily' tear eye drops
Eye drops that replenish the oily part of the tear film and reduce evaporation from the surface of the eye are also increasingly used. These preparations include synthetic guar gums or liposomal sprays.
Liposomal sprays are over-the-counter medications and do not require a prescription. They are sprayed onto the edges of your eyelids when your eyes are closed. When you open your eyes, the solution spreads across the surface of the eye, creating a new oily film.
Oily tear drops are particularly useful if you have blepharitis (inflammation of the rims of the eyelids) or dry eye syndrome caused by your tears evaporating too quickly.
Eye ointments or gels
Eye ointments or gels can also be used to help lubricate your eyes and help keep them moist overnight because your tears can evaporate while you sleep if your eyes are not fully closed. These ointments tend to be used overnight because they can cause blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses, do not use eye ointments while wearing them.
In some cases we may also advise the use of dietary supplements to aid in the treatment of dry eye. There have been numerous studies suggesting, in particular, high quality Omega III being beneficial to meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye sufferers. We therefore stock and prescribe a variety supplements of varying strengths. Our optometrists will discuss with you whether or not this is useful in your specific case.