Mrs Elizabeth Ralph

Professional Services Consultant
Contact Lens Specialist

Contact: beth.ralph19@icloud.com

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Dry Eye Clinic Video

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Dry/Watery Eye FAQ

Although a few specific dry eye drops have very sophisticated formulations, even they don’t have ability to stay on the eye’s surface for many hours. Most dry eye drops, with more basic components, will have only have an effect for one or two hours.
The answer, in many cases, following a specific Dry Eye Assessment and diagnosis (there are different types of dry eye) is to treat the eye’s surface in addition to the use of very particular drops. Once the particular cause is identified in the exam, targeted therapy can be advised, sometimes aided by in-practice treatment. The very good news is that this approach gives me, and more importantly, my patients a 95% success rate!

 

Yes, most glaucoma drops have preservatives within them to protect against contamination. Very often the continued application of these very necessary drops, with their preservatives, to the eye can cause eye surface inflammation and irritation.
Many of the same age group of patients using glaucoma drops are predisposed to dry eye, these two factors (preservatives and dry eye) often mean the eye is not comfortable.
The answer is NOT to stop using the glaucoma drops, they are vital, it may well be, after a specific Dry Eye Assessment, the dry eye and effects of the glaucoma drops can be managed better, leading to the eyes being more comfortable and, evidence has shown, the glaucoma drops being more effective.

If this was the question in 1975, perhaps so, if only because we didn’t understand the complexity of the eye lids or the tears then and we had nothing better. This approach was neither safe (risk of it being too hot and/or very unhygienic) or effective (the required heat is not maintained for nowhere near long enough). In 2020, with our much better understanding of the ocular surface, lids and tears we know much better. Heat application alone is not usually sufficient to help one of the types of dry eye (the type of dry eye needs to identified correctly) most Eye Care Professionals, who understand dry eye/blepharitis would not advocate their use.     

 

As in the ‘hot flannels’ question, this advice, although well meaning, is not based on any evidence of its effectiveness. In fact there is evidence that it can adversely affect vital glands on the eye surface that contribute to good quality tears. It also has a detergent effect, which actually beaks up the tear film. Its use has never been proposed by the manufacturers of such a product, and recently a well-known global producer of ‘baby shampoo’ officially wrote to an UK ophthalmologist strongly supporting his advice against its use.   

 

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