Caring for all your family's vision needs, since 1996

Dry Eye & Blepharitis

Expert advice, from Alex Gage Family Optometrist

Everyone is different. For the best answer you should have an eye exam with an optometrist who has an interest in dry eye.

Contact Woodseats or Crosspool branch for an appointment with Alex today.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye means that your eyes may not be making enough tears, that the tears which are being produced are of poor quality or that the tears that are produced evaporate away. The normal function of tears is to keep the surface of the eye wet and lubricated so any shortage of tears or reduction in their quality can produce a gritty, burning sensation of the eyes and can also disturb vision.

There has been a general increase in dry eye symptoms during Covid with people using computers more while working from home and having to wear masks which changes the airflow across our eyes.

Here are some useful tips on how to adapt to those conditions:

20/20/20 rule:  When using computers don’t forget to blink! Every 20 minutes , Look  20 feet away , for  20 seconds

There are also helpful Blinking exercises.

Breath deeply from the belly not the shoulders and exhale slowly so the breath does not condense onto spec lenses or affect your eyes. There are also Breathing exercises to reduce stress.

More information can be found on Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society TFOS website


The symptoms of dry eye syndrome may include:

  • Dryness
  • Burning, stinging or itching
  • Gritty feeling
  • Irritation from wind or smoke
  • Blurred or smeary vision
  • Tired eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Excessive watering
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Contact lens discomfort

What are the causes of Dry Eye?

Dry eye can be caused by a wide variety of everyday factors and include:

  • Aging
  • Blepharitis
  • Dry environment and pollution
  • Computer use
  • Contact lens wear
  • LASIK surgery
  • Preservatives
  • Hormonal changes, especially in women e.g. menopause
  • Dry eye may also be symptomatic of general health problems or disease e.g. people with arthritis are more prone to dry eye (Sjogren's Syndrome = arthritis + dry eye + dry mouth)
  • Certain types of medications (anti-acne, some beta-blockers, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants, alcohol & anti-depressants…) CAUTION: do not alter or adjust your prescribed medicines without discussing with your Doctor). Your optometrist or Doctor can advise of any known links between medicines and dry eye.

How is Dry Eye treated?

In some cases patient's symptoms can be relieved simply by altering the external influences above. Environmental factors can be helped by making simple changes – for example avoidance of dehydrating environments such as air conditioning; if your job involves lots of computer work take regular breaks to rest your eyes. Protecting the eye from dehydrating influences such as a cold wind by wearing spectacles or sunglasses may also help.

Tears must be distributed efficiently, replaced or conserved in order to provide relief. As dry eye syndrome is caused by an imbalance of tears on the eye's surface the most logical way to treat the problem is to artificially replace the tears and by so doing improve both quantity and quality. Even a watery eye can be caused by the tears evaporating. This results in dry patches which the eye tries to correct by a flood of watery tears.  Sometimes too much tear flow just needs better lubrication; think of a car engine with water in it, it will be wet but will not be well lubricated. There are a variety of artificial tears available and you will be advised the best option for your particular problem and how to use your treatment.

In severe cases of dry eye punctum plugging is available, where tiny little plugs are put into the tear ducts to prevent the tears draining away.

The Eye Doctor Premium® treatment pack

The Eye Doctor Premium® hot eye compress features Sterileyes®. Sterileyes® is an antibacterial shield on the compress, clinically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria. The patented solution is bound to the fibres of the fabrics to protect the eyes from potentially harmful bacteria.

The Eye Doctor Premium® hot eye compress helps relieve symptoms of various eye conditions and complications. This product can be used in excess of 365 times and can be heated in both the microwave and oven.

For more information, follow this link

Thealoz® Duo

Thealoz® Duo Dry Eye drops are suitable for all Dry Eye sufferers looking for the latest drop, as they combine both long-lasting relief and protection for the surface of the eye.

  • Preser­v­a­tive-free
  • Clin­i­cal­ly proven to increase the thick­ness of the tear film which relieves symp­toms of Dry Eye1
  • 0.15% Hyaluron­ic acid – this acts as a tear lubri­cant, pro­vides long-last­ing relief and soothes your symptoms
  • 3% Tre­halose is added to pro­vide pro­tec­tion for the sur­face of the eye
  • Suit­able for all Dry Eye suf­fer­ers, includ­ing con­tact lens wearers
  • Unique bot­tle design means it is preservative-free
  • The 10ml bot­tle has 300 drops and can be used for up to 3 months after opening


Hyabak® Dry Eye drops are suitable for all Dry Eye sufferers looking for an everyday drop, providing long-lasting relief. Ideal for contact lens wearers.

  • Hypo­ton­ic solu­tion restores the nat­ur­al bal­ance of the tear film
  • Preser­v­a­tive-free
  • Easy-to-squeeze ABAK® bot­tle – easy to admin­is­ter drops
  • Handy size, no wastage, economical
  • Suit­able for reg­u­lar use
  • Suit­able for use with con­tact lenses
  • 10ml bot­tle has 300 drops per bottle
  • Unique bot­tle design means it is preser­v­a­tive-free for up to 3 months.

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis refers to inflammation of the eyelids. Oils and other products normally secreted by the eye and eyelids build up on the lid surface and eyelashes resulting in eye irritation and often redness. It’s a common disorder and occurs in two forms:

  • Anterior Blepharitis - this is when the inflammation affects the outside front edge of your eyelids, where your eyelashes are connected. Two possible causes are bacterial infection and Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
  • Posterior Blepharitis - this is when the inflammation affects the inside front edge of your eyelids, where they come into contact with your eye.  This is caused when something affects the glands that are found at the rim of your eyelids, for example skin conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis or acne rosacea.


Signs & Symptoms

Regardless of which type of blepharitis you have, you will probably experience such symptoms as eye irritation, burning, tearing, foreign body sensations, crusty debris (in the lashes, in the corner of the eyes or on the lids), dryness and red eyelid margins.

How can eyelid hygiene help?

Developing a regular routine of eye hygiene is essential in the treatment of blepharitis as it tends to recur and rarely disappears completely. It is important that you clean your eyelids every day, whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms. You should consider it part of your daily routine, like showering or brushing your teeth. Daily eyelid care helps prevent the build up of oils and crusted matter around the eyelid and lash area.


Treatment depends on the type of blepharitis you have. It may include applying warm compresses to the eyelids, cleansing them, using an antibiotic and massaging the lids. If your blepharitis makes your eyes feel dry (usually because your tears evaporate more quickly) you may be recommended to use artificial tears.

The warm compresses are designed to both loosen crusts on your eyes before you cleanse them and make the tear secretions more liquid and less greasy. Wash your hands then dampen a clean washcloth with warm water and place it over your closed eyes for a 5 to 10 minute period.

Cleansing the eyelids is essential to blepharitis treatment. You may be recommended to clean them with a special over-the-counter product specifically made for cleansing the eyelids (see overleaf). When you first begin treatment you may have to cleanse your lids several times a day. When the eyes feel better from the lid hygiene (usually after about 3 weeks) treatment can be done once a day. Remember, to stop treatment altogether will probably result in a recurrence of problems. Only regular lid hygiene will keep the blepharitis under control.

The complete eyelid hygiene system

Blephasol, Blephaclean and Blephagel have been specially formulated to be FREE from preservatives and perfumes by Europe’s leading independent ophthalmology company to be kind to your eyes and skin.


This gentle cleansing solution is ideal for eyelids and lashes, and has been specially formulated to be kind to both skin and eyes. Blephasol is pleasant to use, with no ‘soap effect’ or stinging sensation.

An eye­lid cleans­ing solu­tion in a 100ml bottle.

  • Preservative‑, per­fume- and paraben-free
  • Lash area and skin cleansing
  • Can be used by all con­tact lens wearers
  • No ​soap effect’ or sting­ing, just gen­tle cleansing
  • Pleas­ant to use, mois­turis­es and soothes

For more information, follow this link


These handy wipes are great for gentle cleansing of the eyelids and lashes, with no need for rinsing. Preservative, perfume and paraben-free, they can be used from the age of 3 months and are suitable for contact lens wearers.

For more information, follow this link


This eyelid cleansing gel comes in a patented pump dispenser which is easy to use and helps to prevent contamination. Gives a refreshing, cooling sensation as it softens and soothes even the most sensitive eyelids.

  • Preservative‑, per­fume- and detergent-free
  • Pro­vides a sen­sa­tion of cool­ing freshness
  • Soft­ens and soothes the eyelids
  • Easy to use
  • Suit­able for the most sen­si­tive skin, eye­lids and eyes
  • Can be used by all con­tact lens wearers

For more information, follow this link

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