Dry Eye Syndrome

Watery eyes, particularly in windy, sunny or dry conditions, can be caused by dry eye syndrome, which can also be triggered by many medical conditions and taking certain medications.

Gareth Thomas, Head of Sales and Marketing at Altacor, says: “Lubrication of the eye is very sophisticated. The eye is bathed in a film of tears every time you blink. This film has a watery inside contained by an oily outside layer to reduce evaporation, and a lubricant on the innermost layer nearest the eye ball. These delicate layers can easily be disrupted by medication, including the contraceptive pill.”

The characteristic dry eye symptoms include scratchy or itchy feeling eyes that look red rimmed. However, the eye can also over compensate resulting in watery eyes. This makes the condition difficult to recognise despite being very easy to treat.

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Quick results with Dry Eye diagnostics trial

Dry itchy eyes is frequently it is the reason why patients give up using their contact lenses. To help opticians diagnose dry eye quickly and more accurately, Altacor, the ophthalmic products specialists, and No7 the contact lenses manufacturer have collaborated on a trial and the initial results have been very positive.

Andrew Merry Optometrists were one of the first to join the trial in which self-contained dry eye diagnostic kits were provided free of charge by Altacor and No7, and the opticians were trained in how to use them.

Janet Wilkinson of Andrew Merry Optometrists says:

“The trial went extremely well. People often come in saying they have itchy eyes or a burning sensation and are thinking of stopping wearing their contact lenses. Others think they need a new prescription because their vision is starting to blur.

“Normally we would ask a few questions and then recommend eye drops, but we wouldn’t always be able to do any specific tests as appointment time can be limited.

“In the trial, we assessed everyone that complained of dry eye. The kits contained a Lissamine green stain which we can use to examine the eye and look at tear break-up time.”

The diagnostic kit was developed by Altacor and No7 following consultation with opticians. It provides everything needed in one box and issufficient for testing 10 patients. It helps to identify what type of eye treatment will be most effective.

For more information see the video

Is your medication causing dry eye?

Dry eye is a term used for a variety of tear film disorders that result in the inadequate wetting of the eye.

The characteristic symptom of ‘dry eye’ is scratchy or itchy feeling eyes that look red rimmed. However, some tear film disorders can actually result in watery eyes because the eye tries to compensate for the damage caused to it’s surface layer.

Hormones stimulate the production of tears and so hormonal changes associated with the menopause can be a risk factor for dry eye. As we age, we also produce fewer tears, which may explain why dry-eye is particularly common amongst older women.

Several medicines are associated with dry eye including antihistamines, antidepressants and some drugs used to treat high blood pressure. Using Clinitas eye-drops alongside these treatments can therefore be of great benefit. Other risk factors for dry-eye include recent laser surgery and medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Some nurses have reported that dry eye is one of the side-effects that patients often find sufficiently distressing to stop taking their medication.  Clinitas is also available on prescription so if you are on medication and experiencing dry eye it would be worth discussing this with your GP.

Resealable eye drops offer all day relief from dry eye

Eye drops can provide relief from dry eye symptoms.  These eye drops contain ‘tear substitutes’ which mimic the protective properties of tears.  You may need to reapply the eye drops several times a day and this is where Clinitas Soothe can help.

Clinitas Soothe is unique in that its supplied in an easy to use, sterile, resealable dropper that can be slipped into a pocket or handbag.  Each container holds about 8 drops which is sufficient for one day’s use. It can be recapped and can be used for up to 12 hours.

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Diabetes and dry eye care

People with diabetes are more prone to dry eyes. If your eyes feel tired, sore or gritty or sandy, you may have ‘dry eyes’, or ‘blepharitis’, or both.

The eyelids have tiny glands in them, especially the lower lids. These glands make substances that mix with tears, and help the tears to spread across the eye. This thin layer of tears lubricates the eyes, stops them drying out, and keeps them comfortable. However, as you get older, and particularly if you have dry skin, these glands can block. As a result the glands do not make the chemicals that enables the tears to  spread evenly across the front of the eye. The tears break up and dry patches develop on the surface of the eye which makes them feel sore.

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New-look Clinitas Hydrate is refreshing sight for dry eyes

Clinitas Hydrate®, a high-performance liquid gel drop is set to hit UK stores with new packaging and a promise to bring rapid long-lasting relief from the discomfort of irritable dry eyes by boosting the tear film to keep eyes moist.

Formulated for everyday use, the liquid gel spreads rapidly on contact to quickly coat the whole eye surface, giving fast relief from symptoms. Safe, non-toxic and easy to apply, it is particularly effective for use overnight or first thing in the morning. Usually one drop is applied three to five times a day into the eye.

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