Over the last decade there has been a large increase in the number of people who suffer from the condition known as Dry Eye Syndrome. For many people this can have a significant impact on their quality of life, and as a result we have developed our Dry Eye Clinic.
Stephen Carr is one of a small group of Independent Prescribing Optometrists in the UK, with a strong background in the hospital eye service and the treatment of a range of eye conditions that can cause dry eye.
Dry Eye Syndrome, otherwise known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a disorder caused by either insufficient tears or excessive evaporation due to poor quality tears. This condition is often associated with the following symptoms:
- Eye discomfort and soreness
- Dryness and / or grittiness
- Blurred vision
- Tired Eyes
Occasionally a dry eye can result in an excessively watery eye, this is referred to as “paradoxical dry eye”. By treating the cause of the dry eye, patients often see a significant improvement in their symptoms.
- Hormone changes
- Blepharitis and rosacea
- Systemic conditions such as arthritis
- Environmental factors
- Computer / Mobile Phone use
- Contact lenses
- Laser eye surgery
Our Dry Eye Clinic allows your Optometrist to assess, diagnose, manage, and treat your Dry Eye, all within the practice.
You will first be asked to attend an initial dry eye assessment where we will take a detailed history of your general health and any medication you are currently taking. We will then discuss your dry eye symptoms, how your symptoms have changed with time, and any treatments you have previously tried.
Following this your Optometrist will thoroughly examine your eyes, and using the latest technology, including digital slit lamp photography and topography, we will assess both the volume and quality of your tear film and look for any signs of infection or inflammation.
This will allow your Optometrist to diagnose the type of dry eye you have and determine an effective treatment plan.
Our initial dry eye assessment costs £70.
You will be given an individual treatment plan, which often includes a combination of three different forms of treatment:
Where necessary medications can be prescribed such as steroid eye drops, antibiotics and antihistamines. These are used to treat a number of conditions associated with Dry Eye Syndrome including:
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
As Stephen is an Independent Prescriber a private prescription can be issued the same day, or alternatively if you prefer we can write to your GP.
In Practice Treatment
We are also able to offer patients specialist treatments at the Practice, including:
- Meibomian Gland Expression: At our dry eye clinic the meibomian glands are heated before being gently expressed to free the gland of the blocked meibum.
- Blephex Lid Cleaning: Our Blephex instrument allows us to effectively treat the debris related to anterior blepharitis, a typical sign being what looks like a crust / dandruff at the base of our eyelashes, this makes at home lid cleaning more effective.
- Tea Tree Oil Treatment for Demodex Blepharitis: Up to half of adults, and increasing to two thirds of the elderly, carry the demodex mite. Although generally harmless, in some people the demodex mite can cause significant inflammation leading to blepharitis. In order to treat this we carefully apply a special tea tree oil solution to the eyelashes and lid margins, which kills the demodex mite.
At home treatment
- Ocular lubricants: You will be recommended a regime using specific lubricating drops and gels tailored to your eyes particular requirements.
- Lid hygiene: In many cases of blepharitis it is vital to maintain good eyelid hygiene, by cleaning the lids and lashes with specific lid cleaning products such as Blephaclean or Cliradex lid wipes.
- Hot compresses and lid massage: Meibomian gland dysfunction can often be kept under control by using a hot compress daily, such as an Eye Bag, this is immediately followed by a lid massage.