Announcement: I will be closed until 13th August for annual leave.

Dry Eye Treatment

Dryness, grittiness, watery-ness, irritation anybody? This is a standard question that I ask all patients, as I know all too well that dry eye is a progressive condition when left untreated. We are fortunate that treatment options are now plentiful! At Carina Eye Care, I offer entry-level dry eye treatment options that are natural, conservative, and have enjoyed much success for my patients.
dry eye patient with eye drop

Dry Eye Disease on the Rise

📚According to American research, dry eye disease (DED) affects up to 73.5% of individuals, especially those over the age of 40. In Australia, the prevalence of DED is also increasing due to an aging population. Data from the 2016 Australian Census indicate that 34.1% of the population is 50 years old or older. Furthermore, the 2003 Blue Mountains Eye Study found that 57.5% of Australians over the age of 50 have experienced at least one symptom of dry eye.
📌It's important to note that DED is not limited to older adults. The surge in digital device usage, which typically results in reduced blinking, has led to an increase in dry eye symptoms across all age groups.
👀Although DED is not a condition that leads to blindness, it can significantly impact the quality of life. There are also economic ramifications, both for individuals and society at large.

The Impact of Dry Eye Disease on Quality of Life and Society

Effects on Individual and Society:

🤕Dry Eye Disease can severely reduce the quality of life, comparable to patients suffering from severe angina or undergoing renal dialysis.
😔It has potential links to depression, increasing both individual and societal healthcare costs.
👎The condition also leads to loss of work productivity, affecting businesses and the economy.
🧐💵In Australia alone, the economic burden on the healthcare system due to DED is approximately $330.5 million per year.

Variable Symptoms:

The symptoms of Dry Eye Disease can vary widely depending on its severity and subtype. They include:
  • Fluctuating Vision: Your vision may change when you blink, or may start off clear and become blurry after extended visual activities like reading, watching TV, or driving.
  • Eye Discomfort: You may experience mild irritation, a sensation of a foreign body in the eye, grittiness, wateriness, tearing, dryness, stinging, or burning.
Understanding both the impact and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease can aid in its effective management and treatment.

Treatment Options for Dry Eye Disease

Recommended eye drops by carina eye care
Lubricant eye drops Hylo-Forte is my number one recommended lubricant drop due to its gentle nature, non-preserved, and in a specialised pump bottle that allows for an appropriate amount of lubricant to moisturise the surface of your eye.

Oil-based eye drops NovaTears is a wonderful adjunct drop that I recommend for those with evaporative dry eye whereby any moisture in the eyes evaporates almost immediately. NovaTears allows for an additional oil component to be added to the eye, to keep the eyes moist and comfortable for much longer.
Optimel Eye Gel
Optimel Manuka Honey Gel is a fantastic product that is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, with studies that show an improvement in evaporative dry eye after a month's twice-daily use. This formulation is only available at select optometry practices (not pharmacies), and stings upon insertion.
eye compress treatment pack
Hot compresses using specially designed eye masks are available to heat up the glands in your eyelids to improve meibomian gland dysfunction or evaporative dry eye.
Lid debridement is a procedure is designed to remove any keratinised or dead skin cells on the surface of your eyelid that are impeding the ability of your oily tear glands to secrete the natural moisturiser from your eyes. 
Expression of meibomian glands is a procedure is designed to remove the unhealthy blocked up oils from your glands to allow for the healthy oils to come through and improve your eye comfort.

Eyewear

Moisture chamber glasses (Ziena) are designed with replaceable silicone compartments that are attached by magnet. The silicone creates a moisture chamber environment where the eyes are protected from wind and dust to improve comfort for the dry eye patient. 
 
EyeEco is an alternative brand that makes moisture release eyewear, whereby there is a small piece of foam that releases moisture into the glasses therefore improving the humidity around your eyes. These are also prescriptable and come in two sizes. It's best to book an appointment for a dry eye assessment and to try on the moisture chambers to figure out what suits you best.
Sterilid Eyelid Cleanser
Hypochlorous Acid (also a natural treatment, and a gentler alternative to Sterilid Eyelid Cleanser)
Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) is the most common disinfectant used across medical, industrial, and domestic use. Pure HOCl is produced as an element of human immune response as neutrophil white blood cells respond to pathogens in the body, neutralising toxins and inflammatory mediators. Therefore, hypochlorous acid is a natural and gentle way to eradicate bacteria on and around the eyelids. Despite being such a natural and gentle product, it is surprisingly potent with broad spectrum and rapid antibiotic activity. Where it is useful in eyecare is for treating dry eyes, hordeola, irritated eyelids from blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction. This product can be easily added to a daily wellness routine.

Omega-3 Nutrition

Studies have shown that increasing your omega-3 intake can help improve the quality of your tears and decrease inflammation. There is conflicting evidence on exactly what formulation is best but you can start simply with eating more natural sources of omega 3. Lacritec is a high-quality, pharmaceutical grade omega-3 supplement that you can take if changing your diet is a bit tricky for you. 
Dryeye Forte Fishoil
Oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and trout are great sources for omega-3! Mussels are a bit of a treat, and great for your eyes too! Krill oil may potentially provide even better results. Alternatively, you can take omega-3 supplements from your local pharmacy, or purchase some specifically designed for dry eye treatment online such as Lacritec and DryEye Forte.
Chia seeds are another great source, as well as flax seed oil for those looking for a vegan option, and also to strike a balance between fish-derived omega-3 and plant-derived omega-3. Chia seeds can be purchased from your local health food shop, online, or from the big supermarkets like Woollies, Coles , Aldi, and CostCo! Start with just one tablespoon a day.
The given study below shows that just one tablespoon of dry chia seed per day can improve the tear film. Please note that this study was done on normal patients without dry-eye as there is currently a limited amount of research on chia seeds specifically.
A study conducted

Let’s take care of your eyes!

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