DRY EYES AND BLEPHARITIS
Dry Eyes and blepharitis are common complaints affecting the quality of life of millions of people in the UK. Dry Eye syndrome is five to six times more common in women than in men.
Often the cause is hormonal - its incidence significantly increases with menopause. Those people taking HRT are even more likely to suffer. Refractive laser surgery often results in dry eyes too.
Symptoms include dryness, itching, stinging, redness and difficulty wearing contact lenses. Often, watery eyes are caused by dryness. One can have Blepharitis without Dry Eye, but they often go hand-in-hand.
We’ll perform various tests and analysis, including slit-lamp examination, tear osmolarity (saltiness) and meibomian gland function.
MEIBOMIAN GLAND DYSFUNCTION
We can then plan a treatment program using in-practice procedures such as Blephex, IPL or punctal plugs, as well as nutritional advice, supplements, recommended eye drops and accessories such as heat masks and hyaluronic acid-rich lid wipes.
The majority of Dry Eye cases are of the evaporative form, caused by insufficient oil production and/or blockages of the pores. These people can be treated using a combination of Blephex and IPL which has a very high success rate.
INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL)
The eyes are covered with goggles and gel is applied to the face whilst five flashes of light pulses are applied below each eye. This stimulates the nerves supplying the Meibomian glands by creating a temperature gradient, which causes the secretion and contraction of the glands to produce the all-important oil.
Three sessions over six weeks are required and patients usually see benefits after the second session, but often immediately. I include a fourth session after six months. The positive effects last well over a year - usually two to three.
BLEPHEX EYELID CLEANING
This is a device that spins a medical grade microsponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris whilst exfoliating the lids. In almost all cases of Dry Eye, this would be recommended as a first step.
This is by far the best treatment for blepharitis, and provides almost immediate relief. It also unblocks years of makeup clogging the eyelid pores.
PUNCTAL PLUGS/TEAR DUCT SYRINGING
Only appropriate for certain forms of Dry Eye, these tiny silicone plugs prevent tears from being drained away and are often used to improve comfort for contact lens wearers.