J & J Optical is now running a dry eye clinic on Mondays for the diagnosis and treatment of mild to moderate dry eye. Dry eye is a common condition and can range in severity from occasional grittiness to constant discomfort and blur. Although dry eye has often in the past been trivialised by practitioners, it can be a debilitating condition and tends to worsen with time if left untreated.
In the past little was known about dry eye and the problem was usually just treated with drops, with mixed results. We now know that inflammation plays a major role. Although drops are still important, many other treatments are available, many of which are crucial in minimising symptoms over the long term. Treatment types vary depending on the severity and underlying causes but all work towards breaking the inflammatory cycle and regaining homeostasis (balance and equilibrium) within the eye.
Dry Eye Clinic Assessment
The first step is to undergo a complete dry eye assessment. During this assessment process we determine the severity of your dry eye, how much inflammation is present, and whether your symptoms are related to a deficiency of watery tears or a problem with oil production and quality (or a mix of each).
Dry Eye Treatment Options
Treatment options are tailored to your specific needs and every case is different. There is no magic fix for dry eye and treatment programs are always long term. Although many treatments provide a degree of early relief, it can take up to 3 months for significant change to occur in the eye, and up to 6 months for more advanced cases.
Dry eye treatment options at our practice include eye drops to replace the aqueous (watery) tear layer, drops to replace the oily tear layer, mixed use drops, tear sealants, manuka honey, lid debridement, heat therapy (in house and take home), lid scrubs, environmental modification, meibomian gland expression, short courses of topical steroids and oral antibiotics (in conjunction with your GP).