Innovative treatment for dry eye

Dry eye is a condition that affects around 1 in 4 people in the UK. You’re probably aware of eyedrops as an option to provide relief, however we also have innovative treatments available that can offer you a more effective, long-lasting solution across our three locations. Let’s take an in-depth look at this condition and the treatments we offer.

Causes of dry eye

Causes of dry eye

In today’s fast-paced, screen-dominated world, dry eye syndrome has become increasingly common. Environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to digital screens, air conditioning, heating, and even certain weather conditions can contribute to the development of dry eye.

Symptoms often include:

  • redness
  • watery eyes
  • sensitivity to light
  • a gritty sensation
  • a stinging or burning feeling in the eyes

While these symptoms may be uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that dry eye is not sight-threatening nor is something unmanageable. Numerous treatments can help alleviate these symptoms, improving your overall eye health and quality of day-to-day life.

Diagnosis of dry eye

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms we’ve described and think you may have dry eye, we advise you to book an eye exam, mentioning that dry eye is a concern. This will enable our optometrist to assess and address your symptoms so we can then tailor treatment to your specific needs.

Using the Idra device, we can analyse several parts of your eyes. We will perform a detailed analysis of your tears, glands, lipid layer, and blood vessels in just a few seconds, helping us identify the type of dry eye and the best treatment for you. It also provides a 3D demonstration of its findings, ensuring you understand your diagnosis properly and feel 100% comfortable with the diagnosis.

If your meibomian glands – the part of the eye responsible for keeping your eyes lubricated – are blocked or not working properly, then we have what we consider the best dry eye treatment options for you.

Activa mask treatment

Activa mask treatment

One way to treat dry eye is to use the Activa eye mask, which can unclog the meibomian glands along the edge of the eyelids to melt clogged meibum and restore the natural flow. It works by gently heating and massaging the eyelids, increasing meibomian output and helping your eyes stay lubricated for longer.

The experience is non-invasive, painless and relaxing, offering relief to irritated and swollen eyelids. The device heats to a constant 42°C while putting out micro-vibrations that stimulate the glands to produce the oils that are so important in boosting the production of high-quality tears to keep your eyes moist.

This natural treatment for dry eyes is medication-free and will relieve dry eye symptoms, leaving you with soothed eyes and better vision for longer. You’ll usually experience relief is usually felt immediately, and after weekly treatments for the first 4 weeks, you can then reduce sessions to every 2 months for sustained dry eye relief.

TearStim IPL dry eye treatment

TearStim IPL dry eye treatment

While Activa can offer immediate relief from dry eye, you need regular sessions to keep symptoms at bay. TearStim is a longer-term treatment, with results lasting between 6 months and 3 years. The device uses something called intense regulated pulsed light technology (IPL) to stimulate the meibomian glands and restore regular tear production.

TearStim treatment only takes a few minutes. Simply sit back in our reclined chair and put on the special eye protectors. Our optometrist will apply hydrogel to your lower eyelid and use the TearStim on the relevant area. The device will emit 8-10 light pulses that feel very gentle. They affect the nerve in that area, releasing neurotransmitters that encourage the meibomian gland to work. This gives a boost of lipids to the dry lipid layer, which is responsible for reducing tear evaporation and stops your eyes from drying out.

The TearStim treatment not only boosts your lipid layer but also improves the quality of the glandular secretions and helps stabilise your tear film by targeting the root of the problem. You will feel an improvement within hours of the first treatment, and we usually recommend 4 sessions.

The importance of getting treatment

While temporary relief can be found with eye drops for dry eye symptoms, it is crucial to address the root cause by assessing the eyes to determine the severity of your dry eyes and then treating the meibomian glands. Neglecting this may lead to an increased risk of eye infections if bacteria cannot be washed away by tears. Additionally, there is a risk of corneal abrasions from debris if tears are insufficient to remove them.

Find out more

If you suffer from dry eye or experience any of the symptoms we’ve described, get in touch with your local Optikal Opticians in Potters Bar, Temple Fortune & Finchley, to arrange an eye exam and learn more about our advanced treatment options so irritated, red, and dry eyes can become a thing of the past.