Eye Health

One out of every two cases of sight loss can be avoided with early detection and treatment. At Orpington Eyecare Centre, our Optometrists use the latest technology and their extensive experience to detect and monitor a wide range of eye conditions.

Please contact us if you believe you may be suffering from any of the conditions described on this page.

Dry Eyes

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is the most common problem affecting eyes, with at least 1 in 5 adults suffering from it. It happens when the tears your eyes produce are of insufficient quality or quantity, or more typically, they simple evaporate too quickly. Tear fluid lubricates and protects the delicate surface of the eye, as well as ensuring crisp vision between blinks.

Symptoms of dry eyes may include:

  • Gritty feeling
  • Burning, stinging
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred or smeary vision that is intermittent
  • Tired eye feeling
  • Watery eyes
  • Mild photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Sensitivity to pollution and air conditioning

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eyes are more common amongst women, and in older people, but there are lots of other factors that can increase your likelihood of having signs and symptoms:

  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
  • Computer use (you blink less)
  • Contact lens wear
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Using eye drops that contain preservatives for other conditions such as glaucoma
  • Hormonal changes
  • Being dehydrated
  • Pollution or dry environments
  • Some medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, hayfever, contraception, and depression. CAUTION: do not alter or adjust your prescribed medicines without instructions from your doctor. Your doctor or your Optometrist can advise you about any possible links between the medication you take and dryness symptoms.

What is the treatment for dry eyes?

Thinking about your environment can help – avoiding air conditioning and taking breaks from the computer, as well as wearing sunglasses can help. Also, making sure your diet is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids has also been shown to reduce symptoms.

The most common cause of dry eye is inflamed eyelids (blepharitis) which means that taking care of eyelids and keeping them clean is an important part of managing dry eye symptoms for many sufferers.

Dry eye drops can be used to lubricate and hydrate the surface of the eye, in order to help to restore and maintain the natural balance of tear composition. Modern eye drops can also contain clever ingredients that protect the eye from environmental stresses. Some are also available in gel form for longer lasting relief, particularly overnight. It is important that the eye drops and gels you choose are free from all preservatives.

Blepharitis and BlephEx

BlephEx, the newest treatment for blepharitis, is an in-practice procedure performed directly by the eye care practitioner. Clinicians can now take an active role in treating blepharitis instead of simply relying on the patient’s ability to perform semi-effective home lid scrubs. With BlephEx™ the clinician thoroughly and precisely eliminates the scurf and bacterial debris, the main causes of inflammatory lid disease.

Common symptoms of blepharitis.

  • Itching or scratchy eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Tearing
  • Crusting
  • Redness/inflammation
  • Mattering
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye rubbing

Properly performed, BlephEx™ will reduce or alleviate these chronic and debilitating symptoms in your patients. Treatments are typically repeated at regular monthly intervals depending on the severity of the disease. By eliminating the inflammatory etiology of blepharitis, the overall health of the eyelid is improved. Patients can then begin to produce more of their own tears and finally enjoy a life free from the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with blepharitis and its subsequent dry eye disease.