More and more Ophthalmic healthcare professionals are treating dry,scratchy eyes every day.We love our PDA's and tablets so much that we all cannot stop staring at them,often decreasing our blink rate to an alarming level. Combined with the increased evaporation of our tear film due to poor production from our meibomian glands- a recipe for red,painful,scratchy eyes that feel as if they have been sand blasted.
Hope is on the way with a variety of tools and supplements to treat meibomian gland disease, blepharitis and other common causes of dry gritty eyes.
The increased intake of omega 3 oils certainly helps, but the plugged glands themselves often need warming and expressing to clear the debris.Expensive methods such as the lipiflow have not shown benefit over meibomian gland expression with specialised gland compression forceps (Malosa UK) and at a much more reasonable cost.
Crusts on the lashes that develop with blepharitis can now be removed with a device from the USA called Blephex.This device removes the build up of debris on the lid margin common with blepharitis.
A staggering array of dry eye drops are now available,and choosing between them is often subjective.Preservative free and hypotonic drops give greater comfort .
Once the surface of the eye is uninflamed, a punctal plug maybe used to improve the retention of tears on the surface of the eye and therefore the comfort.These are simple to insert by a trained Eye doctor,you cannot feel them, or easily see them as they are less than a millimeter in diameter.
Some hope for all those sufferers.