Do your eyes feel Gritty, Sore or Watery?

Do your eyes often feel dry or irritated. Do tasks like reading and working on the computer make your eyes feel gritty and scratchy? If so you may have a common condition called DRY EYE SYNDROME. The good news is that it can be treated and you don't have to live with it.

Oldbury and Cruickshank will shortly be launching their DRY EYE clinic. This clinic is aimed at people who suffer from dry eyes. Symptoms from dry eyes can result in:

  • Eyes feeling gritty
  • Sensitive to light
  • Painful and sore
  • Stinging and burning
  • Blurred vision
  • Reduced vision
  • Eye Redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Tired eyes
  • Or a mix of all the above

Dry eyes can lead to reduced performance in reading, driving especially at night, working with a computer and watching TV.

Dry eyes can feel uncomfortable in air conditioning, windy or low humidity environments.

The dry eye clinic aims to help remove or reduce the symptoms above by patients attending a dedicated clinic for DRY EYES. These clinics involve a detailed assessment of symptoms and ocular surface disease resulting in an individually designed plan with personal attention to method and treatment of ocular surface disease.

This clinic is not funded through NHS eye examinations. Ring the practice for more details.

When Elaine Friend suddenly found her right eye was troubling her last summer (2011) she went straight to her optometrist Nigel Oldbury to find out what was wrong.

“Over the past few months my right eye became very irritable and gritty” says Elaine, “I’d no idea what was causing it but it was very uncomfortable and I was having to dab it constantly with a handkerchief.

“Elaine, who’s 58 and works as a receptionist using a computer for long stretches in a busy office. "I couldn’t work properly – I kept having to stop - and it was really bothering me.” As Elaine uncomfortably discovered, this led to her eyes becoming very watery, sore and inflamed, which caused significant discomfort.
“My optometrist, Nigel Oldbury, said I had blepharitis, which can cause dry eyes, and can also make them too watery!!” explains Elaine. “He told me it was nothing serious to worry about but that I should start to treat it, to ease the soreness – or it could get a lot worse.”

Elaine was recommended Blephagel, a perfume free, non greasy gel that cleanses the eyelids to remove the crusts congested on eyelash roots. He also recommended Thealoz eye drops to help lubricate and soothe her eyes.

“It was easy to use and worked almost immediately,” says Elaine. “Within a couple of days the irritation had gone and my eye was feeling much better. Nigel told me to keep using the gel and the drops on an ongoing basis to prevent future flare-ups.

“So I now use it twice a week, usually in the morning when I’m getting ready for work. I put some of the gel onto a cotton pad and rub it onto the eyelid. I also carry Blephaclean wipes with me in case I need them.”

Up to 30% of people in their 50s experience dry eye syndrome, and the condition becomes more common with age. It’s responsible for 1 in 20 eye problems reported to GPs and can develop at any age, although is more common amongst older people.

"It’s a very common condition, particularly affecting women over 40,” adds optometristNigel Oldbury."Typical symptoms include dry, gritty, sore eyes, often accompanied by some crusting around the eye lashes and the whites of the eyes looking red and tired. And if it’s ignored and not treated, dry eye can lead to chronic discomfort.
 “It may be slightly painful, and can sometimes make vision smeary. However, there are rare cases where severe untreated dry eye syndrome can cause visual impairment and scarring of the eye surface.”

“Most patients recognise that they have symptoms, but don't know what to do about it so Elaine did the right thing by going straight to an optometrist rather than attempting self medication, which can be very hit and miss.”

“There are a number of causes of dry eye, each of which are best suited to specific types of management regimes and/or drops. The best way to know which one is best suited to you is to discuss the options with a visit to your optometrist.

“Blephagel works quickly, is easy to apply and can even be left on overnight before being wiped away in the morning.”

“Thealoz is a fantastic new eye drop which instantly helps eyes feel better and starts to repair the dry cornea straight away.”

For more information about dry eye go to www.spectrum-thea.co.uk
and www.ocopticians.co.uk or call in to the practice on Pickford Street
Macclesfield, just below the bus station.