Sore and irritated eyes is a common issue seen by opticians. Sore eyes can be caused by a number of factors such as hayfever and allergies, external factors or irritants, etc. Often this will subside in a day or two. However, dry eye, although a cause of irritated eyes, is a common eye condition that affects millions of people.
Dry eye is the direct result of the glands in your eyes not producing enough moisture (i.e. tears) to keep your eyes wet. This often leads to feelings of discomfort and may even disrupt vision. In order to correctly identify a case of dry eye and access the right treatment method to manage the symptoms, it is important to know the signs of dry eye disease.
The symptoms of dry eye to be aware of:
As we said above, being aware of the symptoms of dry eye and identifying these in your individual case will help in the management of this common eye condition.
If you have any of the following symptoms it is important to address these with the support of an optician or medical professional:
- Scratching feeling in your eyes
- Vision problems such as blurred vision or sensitivity to light
- Red and irritated eyes
- Stinging and burning within the eyes
- Your eyes may feel increasingly tired and heavy throughout the day
- Unexpectedly, some people may also experience watery eyes as the body tries to replace the lack of moisture in the eyes
For some people the condition may only affect them mildly, causing some of these symptoms to occur. While others may experience this more severely which can lead to permanent damage to the eye and later cause vision issues.
Who is most at risk of developing dry eye syndrome?
Opticians often find those most commonly affected by dry eye syndrome are patients over the age of 65. *As we age the Lacrimal and Meibomian glands in the eye tend to malfunction. This causes the chances of dry eye syndrome to occur in older patients to increase overtime. Studies have also suggested that women are more likely to be affected by dry eye symptoms than men. Particularly post-menopausal women.
Confusing hay fever symptoms with dry eye symptoms
One point to touch on, when identifying signs of dry eye, is the crossover of hayfever related symptoms and dry eye symptoms. This can often lead to some confusion for people when accessing the right management solutions.
Here we have created a table which will help you clearly identify the symptoms that are a result of one or both of these common medical concerns:
Sore & Red Eyes
Sensitivity to Light
Symptoms Are Seasonal
As you can see hayfever and dry eye have similar effects on the eyes, however there are slight differences, you should be aware of. If you are concerned about your eyes, and are struggling with any of the symptoms above, it is always advised to speak with your optician or doctor who can inform you on the cause of your symptoms and prescribe a treatment solution.
Essilor optical instruments for the diagnosis and management of dry eye
In order to tackle the symptoms of dry eye, Essilor have partnered with the marketing leading manufacturers in Dry eye diagnostic and management devices to provide solutions and management treatment options that will actually provide genuine relief for patients.
Although eye drops are the most common solution distributed by opticians, pharmacists and doctors for the treatment of dry eye, many patients struggle with them and find they are often returning for more eye drops months later. A great short-term option for irritation relief, eye drops are not always a long-term management option.
This is why we offer optical instruments such as the TearStim and E-Eye devices. Both have the ability to utilise Intense Pulsed Light Technology to stimulate the glands, returning them to their normal function. Essilor Expert Opticians are able to introduce both of these instruments into their practice and offer their patients access to this modern solution for the management of dry eye.
The importance of seeing your optician when managing dry eye
Your optician is the right person to visit when suffering with anything eye-related. Their vast knowledge and years of experience in dealing with eye conditions and concerns puts them in the best position to offer you advice and guidance when it comes to managing your symptoms of dry eye.
If you’re uncertain what your symptoms are, your optician can diagnose you. Identifying the cause of your symptoms accurately. With access to some of the latest modern optical technology, optician practices are well-equipped to diagnose and manage dry eye syndrome. Some Essilor partnered opticians offer their very own dry eye clinics, fitted with dry eye management devices to relive you from your symptoms.
Visiting a dry eye clinic within an optician practice is one of the best ways to address your dry eye symptoms and find a practical management solution. If dry eye symptoms are having a negative impact on your daily life, for example, making driving, reading, watching television difficult, it is important to access the right form of medical support. To find your nearest dry eye clinic opticians and book an appointment, use our optician finder for more details.