Eye health check-ups aren’t just for people who need glasses, according to contact lens optician Nick Atkins from PTR Consultants, speaking at the start of National Eye Health Week.
Nick discussed the bredth of health conditions that can be picked up by a check-up including diabetes and high blood pressure in a series of interviews broadcast on local and community radio stations across the country.
Nick also talked about dry eye, a condition that although extremely common is often disregarded, which can lead to mild and in some cases severe problems with one or both eyes.
He commented that, “The characteristic dry eye symptoms are scratchy or itchy feeling eyes that look red rimmed and may be watery. This makes the condition difficult to recognise and GPs may mistake it as a being the result of an eye infection or hay fever. So I would always recommend that an optometrist should be first port of call rather than the doctor.”
He continued, “Often people will suffer in silence from dry eye. We have probably all had a long day in the office or behind the wheel of the car and experienced uncomfortable eyes at the end of it. Modern environments such as air-conditioned offices, less fruit and vegetable intake and long hours staring at a computer screen all contribute to problems with the tear film.
Part of the problem is that you blink less when concentrating and this gives more time for the film of tears, that lubricate the eye to evaporate, creating dry spots on the corneal surface. But the problem is easily remedied.
Nick continues. “The public don’t think to use dry eye drops and may be wary of them, but they can help repair the surface of the eye and provide prolonged relief. With advice of optometrist, we should perhaps all use these more routinely in our modern day lives, for example a drop at morning and a drop at night.”