What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common complaint and results in a feeling of ocular dryness, grittiness, a foreign body sensation and redness of the whites of the eyes. It may lead to excessive tear production resulting in watery eyes. Sometimes dry eye results in mucous in the corner of the eye near the nose and is often mistaken for conjunctivitis. Risk factors for dry eye include:

  • – Age.
  • – Screen based visual tasks resulting in less blinking.
  • – Medications and some types of eye drops such as Glaucoma drops.
  • – Contact lens wear can result in dry eye.
  • – Females are more likely to get dry eyes than males.
  • – The dry heat of summer and air-conditioning also increases ocular dryness.

There are 2 mechanisms in dry eye:

  • – Less tear production from the Lacrimal Gland under the top eyelid.
  • – Poor tear quality resulting in a quick drying tear film. This is due to a lack of oil (lipid) released from the glands along the edge of the eyelid. These are called the Meibomian glands. If the Meibomian glands become blocked the lower lid margin near the eyelashes becomes red and inflamed. This is called Blepharitis.


Intense Pulse Light (IPL) for Dry Eye

At Forest Lakes Optometrist in Perth we are very excited to now offer IPL treatment for dry eye. IPL has been used for a long time to treat skin conditions such as Rosecea. IPL applied to the lower eyelid stimulates the Meibomian Glands within the lid resulting in more and better quality oil (lipid) released into the tear film resulting in less dryness. In clinical trials, 86% of patients treated had a reduction in their dry eye symptoms. The more that your dry eye is due to a poor quality tear film from a lack of oil, the more benefit you will get from IPL.

As per clinical study protocols, three IPL treatments are recommended: day 1, day 15 and day 45. At each treatment your dry eye will be assessed by evaluating your symptoms and eye drop usage. In addition, the front surface of the eye, the cornea, will be examined for dryness and how quickly the tear film dries will also be assessed.

Further IPL treatments may be required yearly depending on how much the tear film improves.

Contact Forest Lakes Optometrist in Perth for further information on 9493 3314.