Dry Eye & Red Eye Assessment
At our practice, we often come across patients with ocular hyperaemia (red eye), discharge and discomfort. This is primarily managed with ocular lubricants, over-the-counter remedies and remedial eyelid hygiene.
We find that the majority problems leading to red eyes are not from infections, but often allergic/seasonal conjunctivitis and meibomium gland dysfunction which would not benefit from anti-biotic medication.
It may be that your case requires urgent intervention and so we ensure to see red eye patients as soon as possible upon arrival to the practice. We find a brief appointment (15 minutes) is sufficient to make a diagnosis. As the examination is only of the external eye, a full eye examination or refraction is not normally required.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
- Ageing over 60’s are the most common group to suffer
- Hot, dry or windy climates – causes evaporation of tears
- Inflammatory diseases – e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis affecting the joints is associated with higher risk of dry eyes.
- Side effects from medications – e.g. The oral contraceptive pill
How is Dry Eye Syndrome Treated?
There is no absolute ‘cure’ for dry eye syndrome. However, most people can get significant relief from symptoms using a variety of treatments and measures.
Lid Margin Hygiene
If the underlying cause is blepharitis or lid margin disease, then treating this can often improve the ocular surface and reduce symptoms.
This can be done by simply applying a hot compress, massage and cleaning often with ocular foam. We have these products available to buy in the practice.
Regular lubrication in the form of gels or drops can help keep the surface of the eyes wet, and thus reduce symptoms. Often, this is combined with lid margin hygiene.
There are a wide range of eye drops available – contact us for advice on which eye drops are suitable for you.