Causes and prevention of dry eyes
Dry eyes is a common condition and affects our quality of life. Dr Cheryl Lee talks about dry eye patients who want to get rid of glasses and contact lenses and why Lasik makes dry eyes worse.
We have all experienced dry eyes. Common causes are dry environments such as air-conditioning or in planes, and exacerbation from prolonged staring at computer and Smartphone screens.
It can also result from contact lens wear or after LASIK surgery. Menopause can be a contributing factor too. The severity varies and may cause intolerance to contact lens wear, constant red eyes and may even have psychological effects leading to depression.
The Eyeclinic by Dr Cheryl Lee has various treatment options depending on the cause of the dry eyes.
A wide range of medicated eye drops and specific omega-3 help to decrease inflammation and trigger the tear glands to produce tears. Specific laser treatment can be done around the lower eyelids (E-Eye) to decrease oil production and stimulate tear production.
It is possible to prevent dry eyes from happening in the first place by choosing the right type of vision correction procedure.
CAN IT BE PREVENTED BY CHOOSING A REVERSIBLE VISION CORRECTION PROCEDURE?
Those who do not like the experience of dry eyes from contact lens wear should consider reversible vision correction options. Lasik which is non reversible causes dry eyes.
Implantable contact lens (ICL) is a Swiss lens made of collagen. It is a reversible vision correction technology with a 20-year history, and its long-term safety results have been well proven.
It is a great option even for those who cannot have LASIK due to thin cornea, dry eyes, keratoconus, high myopia or astigmatism. All laser vision options thin the cornea and it is not reversible. Nerves that produce tears are in the cornea, so thinning the cornea leads to nerve destruction and dry eyes.
With the ICL, no tissue is destroyed, so dry eyes do not occur.A non-surgical option available is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K). In children, it may slow down the increase in spectacle power progression by 50 per cent versus wearing conventional glasses.
The Ortho-K lens is worn at night when sleeping. On removal in the morning, the eyesight is perfect the whole day without glasses or contact lenses. Many adults find this more comfortable as it means no dry and tired eyes at work from wearing daily contact lenses and they can switch to after-work activities with comfortable eyes.