Dry eye is a common eye condition that affects millions of people all over the world. Although not always linked to age, the eye condition most commonly affects people over the age of 65, and statistics have shown that women tend to report more cases of dry eye than men.
The symptoms of dry eye range from sore, itchy eyes, to blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Since dry eye shares many of its symptoms with other common eye conditions, it can often be confused for seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which is a symptom of hayfever. This is why it is important to seek professional medical advice when suffering from any eye related concerns.
The cause of dry eye
Dry eye occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears do not last long enough to moisten the eye. This is a problem related to the glands in the eye.
Although dry eye disease may only cause minor discomfort for most people, greater concern lies with the long term damage it may be causing.
Tear production within the eye not only helps to keep your eyes wet and moist, but protects your eyes from infections and irritants. When your eyes do not produce enough tears or these evaporate too quickly, there is concern that permanent eye damage may occur.
Although there are several things you can do to ease the symptoms of dry eye, such as using eye drops prescribed by your doctor or optician, targeting the cause of the issue is key to finding a long lasting managment solution.
The impact dry eye has on daily activities
Overtime and as symptoms increase, dry eye disease can have a significant impact on daily life. Not only does having sore and irritated eyes cause discomfort, but the effect this can have on your vision may make it difficult to complete certain tasks or enjoy particular activities in your life. For example, sensitivity to light may make driving at night more difficult resulting in a lack of confidence in your driving ability. This often leads to many people giving up their freedom and choosing not to drive. Others may find their quality of sleep is hindered or they struggle to see clearly the television, a book, or mobile device.
When dry eye disease becomes a disruption to your daily life and takes away the enjoyment of activities you love, it’s time to visit an optician.
Instruments used by opticians to manage dry eye
Essilor Instruments have partnered with both SBM sistemi and ESW vision who both offer market leading innovative optical technology that not only helps relieve patients of their dry eye symptoms but targets the root cause. Using intense pulsed light technology, our optical instruments work to treat the tear glands helping to stimulate the production of tears and return this to a normal working function.
Two devices created, which can be found in a wide number of Essilor partnered optician practices, are:
E-Eye provides a long-lasting management solution for dry eyes. Using scientifically proven technology to manage Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. E-Eye uses polychromatic pulsed light and produces sequenced light pulses which are precisely set to target the nerves connected to the Meibomian Glands in your eyes. This stimulates the glands and encourages them to return to their normal working function. It may seem and sound rather complex but when using the E-Eye device within your optician’s practice you will experience a painless and simple procedure.
Only lasting a few minutes you will be asked to sit slightly reclined in a comfortable treatment chair. Wearing protective eyewear, much like those you may have seen in tanning salons, a gel will be applied by the optician before the procedure begins. Once completed the process should be carried out over another 3 or 4 sessions to ensure optimum results. In up to 60% of cases the E-Eye device produced long-lasting results that meant many patients did not need to return for a follow-up within 3 years.
The TearStim device is a popular choice and can be found in many of our Essilor partner opticians’ practices. Offering a solution that works to target dry eye disease in just a matter of minutes. When offered TearStim, you will be sat in a chair while the optician uses protector shells to cover your eyes. A gel will then be applied below your eyes. Once you are ready and comfortable, the optician will use TearStim to emit a series of harmless light pulses at the region below your eye. This will then be done on the opposite eye.
After just a few minutes the procedure will be complete. The application helps to restore the normal function of the Meibomian gland. After 3 or 4 sessions using the technology the effects of using intense pulsed light technology will last for around 6 months up to 3 years. We recommend also scheduling an annual booster session to ensure the effects are not subsiding.
Plus, not only can TearStim be used as a management method, but also as a preventative method for those who may be at a high risk of dry eye disease. This even includes children, particularly those whose eyes are affected by a heavy use of digital devices.
Visiting a dry eye clinic
Many of our partner opticians offer their very own in-house dry eye clinics. These provide all the specialist management methods from short term and long term managment for dry eye symptoms and its cause.
Visiting a specialist dry eye clinic is the best way to manage your dry eye in the most effective way possible. Your optician has all the relevant knowledge and understanding of common eye conditions to diagnose dry eye, aware of its most common symptoms and being able to differentiate between this and other eye health concerns. While those stocked with a range of managment options, including Essilor optical instruments, have access to the right equipment to offer immediate relief of dry eye disease symptoms that will require only several sessions of a short and painless procedure.
To find your nearest Essilor partner optician that offers dry eye managment, use our handy optician finder today.