Our tears, and the film they form over our eyes, serve a very important function in keeping our eyes comfortable, healthy and able to see well. It’s only when we don’t have enough tears or they are of poor quality that the surface of our eye becomes exposed and become uncomfortable.
Tear film problems are often referred to as ‘dry eye disease’. This is sometimes a confusing name as ‘dry’ eyes can often be quite watery, so a more appropriate name is ocular surface disease.
Ocular surface disease occurs when we either have too few tears or, more commonly, when we have enough tears but they are of poor quality.
Ocular surface disease is often linked to blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids and the glands that produce the lipid layer of the tear film.
This can feel different for everyone but the common symptoms are:
There are many causes which include:
The route to managing dry eyes properly is to have consultation that diagnoses the type of dry eye you have. Understanding this allows us to develop a tailored management plan for you. This diagnosis requires expertise and specialist equipment that GPs and pharmacists don’t have and can only be done properly at an optometrist or hospital eye service.