Why are your eyes sticky in the morning?
Ever woken up with sore, sticky eyes which are difficult to open & crusty around the lashes. Could you have Blepharitis?
This is the most common form of dry eye often caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. The meibomian glands are found within the eye lids and in this condition the oil contained becomes too greasy & viscous. The secretions become semi solid blocking the gland opening and preventing expression of the oil onto the eye.
So why do you need tears?
The tears are made up of 3 layers, the top layer is oil to lubricate the blinking action. The middle layer is watery to wash away foreign bodies and keep the eye clean. The layer closest to the eye is the mucous layer to help the tears stick to the eye. This combination of oil & water keeps the eyes healthy & comfortable.
Imagine a car engine without any oil, parts of the engine will grate & grind together causing damage eventually causing the engine to seize up and stop working. The eyelids along with the oily tears lubricate the blink preventing friction between the lid & the front surface of the eye. Without this oil the lids will grate across the front of the eye leading to red uncomfortable sore eyes.
Ok so it sounds like you have blepharitis, now what do you do?
The best advice would be to book in with your optician to confirm diagnosis. The optometrists at Birds are experts in dry eye & poor tears supported by ocular hygienists who can issue a full treatment plan.
Dry Eye Clinic
Once you have your diagnosis you will be offered an appointment in our dry eye clinic. This is a 30 min appointment to include a full tear assessment to determine the extent of your condition. A full slit lamp examination of the anterior eye using diagnostic dyes will be done by our dry eye expert.
Tests can include:
Tear break up time
Meibomian gland examination
Tear prism assessment
Shiermer test to determine tear volume
Dry Eye Spa
You will then be offered a dry eye spa heat treatment followed by lid massage & lid cleansing. Samples of tailored eye drops & gels will be used to find the best relief to your symptoms.
Belpharitis is usually a chronic condition which means it will never recover completely but will require ongoing management of the condition.
At the end of your appointment you will be issued with a treatment plan to continue your journey to recovery.
By Beth Ralph FBDO CL
Contact Lens Optician