What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye disease (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a very common condition. It affects one in five adults. For your eyes to be comfortable, you need an adequate supply of tears.  When you don’t have enough tears to provide lubrication, or they dry too quickly (for example, riding a bike), dry eye will develop. You may experience dry eye when flying, after reading or looking at a computer screen, or being in an airconditioned room.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

  • Your eyes will feel sore, itchy, tired, heavy, or have a burning sensation
  • Your eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • You may have blurred vision that fluctuates with blinking, or is worse when reading or working on the computer
  • Your eyes are red and possibly sensitive to light (photophobia)
  • You discover that there is discharge or crusting around your eyes, especially first thing in the morning.
  • You are increasingly susceptible to styes, chalazia and eyelid infections
  • Your eyes are very watery! Eyes that are dry trigger excessive “reflex” tearing
  • You may develop a foamy tear film over your eyes
Posterior blepharitis dry eye is progressive from meibomian gland blockage requiring artificial tears

Is dry eye a serious disease?

Yes.

Dry eye is chronic, progressive and irreversible.

Apart from causing annoying symptoms, dry eye can have more serious consequences:

  • Dry eye is becoming much more common, especially in young people. Symptoms are progressive and usually become harder to treat later in life.
  • Eye inflammation, abrasion of the cornea, corneal ulcers and even vision loss: yes, you could go blind.
  • Dry eye can cause scarring of the cornea.
  • Increased risk of eye infection.
  • Difficult to enjoy life, as it can be difficult to read, sew, do crafts or hobbies, or exercise.
  • Dry eye is occasionally a sign of serious underlying disease. Examples include autoimmune diseases and scarring disorders of the conjunctiva (cicatricial conjunctivitis).
  • Dry eye reduces the success of future cataract surgery or laser vision correction (e.g. LASIK).
  • Chronic dry eye can cause irreversible damage to the oil glands of the eye.
  • Dry eye can cause eyelid notching (tylosis). Eyelashes can grow in the wrong direction, lose their colour, or fall out.
  • Dry eye reduces your ability to wear contact lenses.
Red eyes and red conjunctiva caused by dry eye

Red eyes

Conjunctival injection

Treat anterior blepharitis and dry eye gold coast with eyelid scrubs and blephex

Inflamed eyelids

how to unblock meibomian glands to treat blepharitis and dry eye in Gold Coast

Meibomian gland clapping

Eyelash colarettes and crusting are signs of blepharitis and demodex or dry eye

Crusting on eyelashes

Dry eye treatment in Gold Coast to reduce corneal dryness and fluorescein staining

Corneal surface defects

Meibomain gland dysfunction causes dry eye treated with Lipiflow and specialist management Gold Coast

Blocked meibomian glands

Thick blocked meibomian glands expression with hot compression or Lipiflow for dry eye in Gold Coast

Thick “toothpaste” meibomian secretions

Foamy tear film is due to saponification of the tear film oils by staphylococcal lipase

Foamy tear film

(Saponification- bacterial lipase enzymes turn the oily tears to soap!)