Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when eyes don’t make enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly.
When the eyes dry it leads to them becoming red, swollen and irritated.
Dry eyes usually affects both eyes causing the following symptoms:
- temporary blurring to vision
In severe cases, dry eyes may result in pain.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome can occur when the complex tear production process is disrupted. .
Common causes include:
- prolonged use of digital devices such as PCs and tablets
- being in a hot or windy climate
- wearing contact lenses
- certain underlying medical conditions, such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- side effects of certain medications – including antihistamines, antidepressants, beta-blockers, diuretics and glaucoma drops.
- hormonal changes in women – such as during the menopause, pregnancy, or while using the contraceptive pill.
- thyroid dysfunction
Although the condition may affect people of any age, your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increase as you grow older.
It’s estimated up to one in every three people over the age of 65 experiences problems with dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome is more common in women than men.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
Measuring Tear Quantity
A reduced amount of tears may be one of a number of factors causing dry eye. The amount of tear is measured using either ophthalmic dyes or sterile absorbent strips. This test is painless.
Measuring Tear Quantity
The tear film is made from a number of different layers. If the tear film is not stable on the eye, then dry patches will form. We use a dye to evaluate tear film stability but also the latest tear film stability tests from modern corneal topographers.
Measuring the On-Eye Effect
Dry eye can cause a number of changes to the eye. These include:
- increased redness
- drying at the front of the eye
- changes to the eyelid margins
Using high resolution digital cameras attached to our microscopes, we are able to photograph changes to the eye. Advances in imaging technology also allow our practitioners analyse these images and demonstrate improvements with prescribed treatments.
InflammaDry® is the first and only, rapid, in-practice test that detects MMP-9, an inflammatory marker that is consistently elevated in the tears of patients with dry-eye disease.
The test only takes around 10 minutes and is totally painless. A tiny sample of tears is taken from your eyes. The sample is analysed and test results identify abnormally raised levels of MMP-9.
InflammaDry® is usually performed before treatment and occasionally during follow-up visits to evaluate the effect of dry eye treatments.
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