Dry Eyes 

What are dry eyes?

Dry eyes are extremely common. They cause the eyes to feel sore, gritty and sometimes it may even feel like a foreign body has entered the eye. Occasionally a ‘dry eye’ may become red, or even watery!

Dry eyes are more common as we age. They can be worsened at the end of the day, in air-conditioning or windy environments. They are particularly common if reading or using a computer for prolonged periods of time. Some systemic diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis) can cause dry eyes.

How do I treat the symptoms?

Lubricating drops are the mainstay of treatment. There are many different types of drops available. Most patients find that they need to put the drops in approximately 3-4 times per day. If your symptoms are still significant, you should increase the frequency of application until your symptoms are relieved. If you are still in discomfort, then try changing to a different drop. 

Eyelid sprays are available over the counter and these can also be effective in some patients.

Flax seed and fish oil capsules have been shown to also help with dry eye. 

In very severe cases, other treatments may be available.

Treating any blepharitis can also help. This involves cleaning the eye with eyelid cleansers (such as sterilid), using warm compresses and effective lid massage.

Remember, it is also important to avoid factors that increase the dryness of your eyes (for example, reducing your exposure to air-conditioning and taking breaks when in front of the computer and reading).

Dr Joshua Yuen

Dr Joshua is an experienced consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who specialises in retinal diseases and cataract surgery... read more

Dr Brad Johnson

Dr Johnson is an experienced consultant ophthalmic surgeon, who specialises in retinal diseases and cataract surgery... read more