About dry eyes

Dry eyes disease affects an increasingly large number of people. The condition occurs when tears do not lubricate the eye properly. This can happen when glands in the eye produce too few tears, or if the tears are poor quality.

Symptoms of dry eyes include burning, grittiness, pain, irritation, redness and inflammation, as well as flaky eyelids (blepharitis).

Dry eyes do not usually have one single cause. However, studies show that over 80% of dry eye disease is caused or worsened by meibomian gland dysfunction. In addition, spending too long looking at screens can be a major causal factor. So too is spending time in air conditioned environments like office towers or aeroplanes.

Treating the condition requires lifestyle changes as well as blinking exercises and non-invasive procedures designed to stimulate tear flow.

Take the dry eye test

Dry eyes FAQs

Surveys suggest 6.8% of the adult population suffer dry eyes. However, clinical evidence suggests many more people may be suffering the condition.

Yes, research indicates a link between the prevalence of the condition and certain allergies.

They are caused by things like meibomian gland dysfunction and spending too much time looking at digital screens, as well as allergies and time spent in air conditioned environments.

Dry eyes treatments include blinking exercises and eye drops,  as well as non-invasive procedures like LipiFlow, Intense Pulsed Light / IPL, BlephEx and Blephasteam.

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How to prevent dry eyes

Take an eye break

Every 20 minutes look away from your digital screen and blink your eyes.

Move your screen

Place your computer screen slightly below eye level, so your eye won’t open so wide.

Be mindful of air conditioning

If you work in an air conditioned environment consider getting a humidifier, as well as going outside during breaks.

Avoid drafts

Try to avoid sitting in drafts or facing into the wind.

Don’t smoke

Smoking can make dry eyes worse.

When to see an optometrist

People should see an optometrist if they have had dry eye symptoms for more than a few weeks. Treatment is most successful when commenced early. It also requires accurate diagnosis of the underlying causes of dry eyes.

At The Eye Practice we have specialised equipment to measure how dry your eyes really are. Our expert optometrists analyse these results as part of a dry eye assessment to determine the best treatment options.