There isn't a cure for dry eyes – it is a matter of keeping the problem under control to maintain comfort. This may involve dry eye
treatment for long periods of time - even a lifetime in severe cases. Severe dry eye problems may need to be managed by an
Treating Dry Eye
: anything that increases the rate of evaporation of the tears can contribute to dry eyes, for example car heaters blowing
hot air into the face or air conditioning in offices, shops or on aircraft. In winter if the heating in the home gets too warm this can dry
the eyes too. If you have dry eyes, try to minimise these effects where possible.
Hot Lid Compresses:
Heat helps to unplug any blocked Meibomian glands in the lids and allows the oily secretions to flow more
readily. These oily secretions form the surface layer of the tears and help to prevent the tears evaporating away too quickly. In people
who suffer from dry eyes, this oily layer is often of poor quality and a very warm/hot compresses can help to rectify this.
The traditional method is to press on the eyelids gently with a folded flannel (facecloth) soaked in very warm water for 2-5 minutes. If
the flannel cools, keep re-warming it in the very warm water. This should be done twice a day for the first week or two and then daily
to maintain the effect.
Massage the Lids:
Massage the eyelids immediately after applying the warmth as this helps to push out the oily fluid from the tiny meibomian glands. To massage the eyelids: ...
- Use your index or middle finger and sweep the pad (fingertip) of that finger from the inner corner of the eye along
the eyelid to the outer corner of the eye.
- Start with the upper lid. Put the finger pad in the corner of the eye next to the nose, just resting on the eyelid above
the lashes. Then sweep the finger gently but firmly along the eyelid to the outer end.
- Repeat this with the lower lid, placing the pad of the finger just below the lashes in the corner of the eye and
sweeping outwards towards the temple.
- Repeat this sweeping massage action 5 to 10 times over about 30 seconds immediately following the warming.
- Massaging should neither be too gentle nor too firm. It should be relatively comfortable and you should not press
hard enough to actually hurt your eyeball under the closed lids. Always massage with the eyes shut.
A popular alternative is to use a specially designed microwavable heat bag
which you place over your eyes for about five minutes. The EyeBag® which
we supply at Mackereths, is one such product– produced by local
ophthalmologist Tefi James, who specializes in dry eye problems. The heat
bags are warmed in a microwave. Their advantage over a hot flannel is that
the heat is retained for many minutes and so it keeps constant warmth over
the eyes. You can simply lie down and relax for five minutes with the bag
placed over your eyes.
Artificial Tears: Mild to moderate cases of dry eye syndrome poor tear pro
-duction can usually be treated using lubricants that consist of a range of drops, gels and ointments. These lubricants are often called
'artificial tears' because they replace the missing water in the tear film.
Most lubricants are available without a prescription over the counter from a pharmacy and Mackereth supply commonly used
lubricants such as Hypromellose Eye Drops and Viscotears Gel. There are many different types of eye drops and gels, and it is often
worth trying a number of different ones to find one that suits you. Your optometrist/doctor/pharmacist can advise you on artificial
Some eye drops contain preservatives to prevent harmful bacteria from growing inside the medicine bottle. If your symptoms mean
you need to use these eye drops regularly more than six times a day, it may be better to use preservative-free eye drops. If you wear
soft contact lenses, you may also need to use a lubricant that is preservative-free, as preservatives attach to the contact lens and damage
the eye. These preservative-free types eye drops may be more expensive.
If you have any difficulty putting in your drops, please discuss this with your optometrist/doctor/pharmacist. Eye drops that replenish
the oily part of the tear film and reduce evaporation from the surface of the eye are also increasingly used. These preparations include
synthetic guar gums or liposomal sprays. Liposomal sprays are over-the-counter medications and do not require a prescription. They
are sprayed onto the edges of your eyelids when your eyes are closed. When you open your eyes, the solution spreads across the
surface of the eye, creating a new oily film.
Eye ointments such as Lacrilube can also be used to help lubricate your eyes and help keep them moist overnight, because your tears
can evaporate while you sleep if your eyes are not fully closed. These ointments tend to be used overnight only, because they can cause
: If your dry eyes are severe and fail to respond to other forms of treatment, surgery may be an option. Two types of surgery
are sometimes used to treat dry eye syndrome are described below.
Punctal occlusion involves using small plugs called punctal plugs to seal your tear ducts. This means your tears will not drain into
the tear ducts and your eyes should remain moist. Temporary plugs made of silicone are normally used first to determine whether the
operation has a positive effect. If it does, more permanent plugs can replace the silicone ones. In more severe cases, the tear ducts are
cauterised (sealed using heat). This permanently seals the drainage hole to increase the amount of tears on the surface.
Salivary gland autotransplantation is an uncommon procedure that is usually only recommended after all other treatment options have
been tried. This procedure involves removing some of the glands that produce saliva from your lower lip and placing them under the
skin around your eyes. The saliva produced by the glands acts as a substitute for tears.
Diet: There is some evidence to suggest that a diet high in omega-3 fats can help improve dry eye syndrome. The best sources of
omega-3s are oily fish, such as: mackerel; salmon; sardines; herring; fresh or frozen tuna (not canned, as the canning process sometimes removes the beneficial oils). Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish. Food
supplements are available for those who feel they cannot achieve a good intake of omega 3 in their natural diet. You can also get
omega-3s from various nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, soya and soya products, and green leafy vegetables.
9 Tips to make your eyeglasses last longer
Printable page 9 Tips to make your eyeglasses last longer .pdf
You invest a lot of time in finding the right pair of spectacles. You look for the right frame shape and colour that
perfectly suits you. Don't you want to do everything you can to make these spectacles last as long as possible? Here are some great tips on how to take proper care of your spectacles that will help make them last.
Take them off using two hands, instead of one.This keeps the sides straight and in the right alignment. Taking them off one-handed stretches them out and makes them loose. Don't put your glasses on the top of your head. This can distort the shape, and there's a greater chance of them falling off and getting damaged.
Always rinse your spectacle lenses with cold water before wiping or cleaning them. Even tiny particles of dust or dirt can settle on your lens, and if you wipe those around on a dry lens, it can be abrasive.
If you're going to use a chemical,use sprays or cleansers that are specifically made to clean spectacle lenses. Never use household cleaners like Windolene, because they may contain chemicals such as ammonia, which will damage any coating that is on the lens. Mackereth sell a variety of excellent cleaning sprays for spectacle lenses.
If you can, allow your lenses to air dry. This is another great way to keep any materials from getting on to your lens. If you can't set them down to air dry, wipe them down with the microfiber cloth supplied with your spectacles.
Use the Right Cloth
NEVER use paper towels, napkins or kitchen roll to dry your lenses. All of these materials, regardless of how soft they are on your skin, have a textured surface and can easily scratch your lenses. Also, refrain from using the tail of your shirt. If the clothing is not 100% cotton, the fibres in the fabric will scratch the lens of your spectacles over time. The clothing can also have dirt on it, which means the residue ends up transferred to your lenses.
Hold your frames by gripping the piece that crosses the bridge of the nose. This will keep you from accidently bending the frame while you clean it. Bent spectacles can negatively affect the way you see out of your lenses. Plus, if your frames are bent out of shape, they're more likely to feel uncomfortable.
Store your spectacles when you're not wearing them. This isn't just a great way to keep dust and dirt away from your lenses, but it also protects your spectacles. When you take your spectacles off, put them in the case to keep them from getting scratched, bent or broken. Any particles, scratches, or tiny hairline fissures will make it harder for you to see perfectly through your lenses, especially at night or in darkened rooms (light will travel along those scratches, creating halos and prisms).
Don't lay your spectacles lens down. This is just asking for scratched lenses.
Washing your spectacles at least once a day will keep your lenses in their optimal state. The cleaner your lenses, the less your eyes have to strain to see through smudges, dirt and dust. Clean with warm water and a microfiber lens cloth. Don't use harsh cleaning fluids, cream cleaners or hot water as this may damage the coating on your lenses.