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Dry Eye Treatment in Canberra

itchy eyes from dry eye syndrome

Dry Eye Treatment in Canberra

Dry eyes can be more than just an annoyance—they can disrupt your whole day. At Junic Eye Care, we’re committed to offering the very latest dry eye treatments in Canberra with a level of care and expertise you deserve. If itchy, red, or irritated eyes have been a bother, let’s have a conversation. We’re here to help you regain comfort and enjoy clear vision.

In this post, I’ll share how our distinctive suite of dry eye treatments sets us apart, offering innovative solutions you won’t easily find elsewhere in the nation’s capital.

Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome

If you’ve ever felt that aggravating scratchiness in your eyes, like you’ve got a speck of dust caught in them that just won’t budge, you’re not alone. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that many of us face, especially in the modern world where digital screens dominate our lives.

Beyond the incessant grittiness, you might find your eyes becoming red with irritation, or even find them watering as if you’re chopping onions all day. It’s a paradoxical world – dry eyes yet excessive tears!

At this point, many of us are reaching for the eye drops for temporary relief. But don’t ignore the warning flags. Your eyes are signaling that they need more than a quick fix.

In our clinic we start with a thorough diagnosis to uncover what’s really going on behind those blinks. Is it your office’s arctic air conditioning, the dusty Canberra winds, or something more internal like an imbalance in tear production? Identifying the root cause is the first step in crafting a tailor-made dry eye treatment that offers more than just a short term solution.

itchy red and swollen eyes from dry eye syndrome
treatment for dry eye syndrome in canberra

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: The Usual Suspect

When it comes to dry eyes, the usual suspect often turns out to be something called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD for short.

Your eyelids contain little oil glands that secrete a thin layer of oil over the ‘watery’ aqueous layer of your tears. Without the smooth flow of this oil, the aqueous layer begins to dry up – like a shallow pool of water on a hot Canberra day.

This means you may be experiencing not just a fleeting irritation but a chronic condition that needs attention. But here’s the good news – once we figure out MGD is the troublemaker, we can suggest a clear path to helping you manage your condition. It’s all about getting those glands back in action, so your eyes can take in the world without feeling like they’re in a desert!

The reasons for MGD can vary, but common causes include:

  • Aging and Hormonal Changes: Both men and women experience hormonal shifts as they age that can affect eye health. Reduced testosterone levels in men and menopausal changes in women can lead to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
  • Contact Lens Wear: Long-term contact lens use can increase the risk of MGD due to reduced blink efficiency and potential irritation to the gland openings.
  • Medications: Certain medications, especially those with drying effects like antihistamines or some blood pressure drugs, can exacerbate or contribute to MGD.
  • Eyelid Inflammation: Conditions like blepharitis, which involve inflammation of the eyelids, can directly affect meibomian gland function and lead to MGD.
  • Digital Screen Use: Hours spent staring at computer and phone screens can lead to reduced blinking rates, which is vital for spreading the meibomian oils across the eye.
  • Diet and Nutrition: A diet lacking in essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3s, can impair gland function. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining the healthy lipid layer of the tear film, and their deficiency can lead to MGD.

OCULUS Keratograph 5M: A Look into the Future of Eye Care

Treatment begins with getting a thorough understanding of what’s gone wrong with your eyes. And for this, it helps to have the very latest in advanced eye health diagnostic equipment from Europe.

Our clinic is proud to offer examinations with the OCULUS Keratograph 5M, a revolutionary device that allows us to peer into the intricacies of your eye with astounding detail. It enables us to visualize and assess the health of your meibomian glands with unprecedented accuracy. Here’s what makes the OCULUS Keratograph 5M so special:

  • High-Resolution Imaging: The Keratograph 5M employs high-definition color imaging, providing a crystal-clear view of the eye’s surface and glands, enabling us to detect even the subtlest abnormalities.
  • Non-Invasive Meibography: This device performs a detailed meibography, a non-invasive technique to photograph your meibomian glands, helping to identify gland dysfunction or structural changes without discomfort.
  • Precise Tear Film Analysis: With its sophisticated software, the Keratograph 5M can analyze your tear film’s stability. This helps in determining the tear break-up time, which is crucial for diagnosing dry eye syndrome.
  • Corneal Topography Capabilities: Beyond the eyelids and tear film, this versatile tool also maps the cornea’s surface, aiding in the diagnosis and management of various corneal conditions.
  • Integrated Treatment Planning: The insights gained from the Keratograph 5M allow us to craft a personalized treatment plan. By understanding the unique conditions of your eye, we can recommend targeted treatments that promise the most effective relief.

With the OCULUS Keratograph 5M’s assistance, we are at the forefront of diagnosing and managing dry eye and other ocular surface disorders. We believe in harnessing technology to enhance our ability to care for your eyes with the utmost precision.

Simple Dry Eye Treatment Options

Different people experience dry eyes to different degrees. So it make sense to consider a few home based solutions before you book in for clinical dry eye treatment.

Starting with the basics, we often suggest Omega 3 fish oil supplements. These aren’t just good for your heart; they can also work wonders for your eyes by improving the oil film produced by your eyelids. Regular intake can lead to a substantial reduction in dry eye symptoms over time.

Another option is moisture chamber glasses. These aren’t your average specs. They create a mini-humidity chamber for your eyes, trapping moisture and protecting your eyes from the drying effects of the environment. They’re especially useful for our Canberra winds that seem determined to whisk away every bit of moisture.

If you are looking for a simple but effective at-home remedy, a warm compress can often provide significant relief. The warmth helps to melt any blockages in the glands, much like warm water helps to dissolve grease on dishes, making it easier for the oil to flow and keep your tears from evaporating too quickly.

When you combine these solutions with smart lifestyle adjustments, like managing your digital screen time and being mindful of air quality at home and work, some people will make significant progress towards overcoming dry eye symptoms.

However, if you still find that you are experiencing itchy, red, and uncomfortable eyes, then the next step is to come see us at Junic Eye Care so we can find a more effective dry eye treatment solution.

Dry Eye Treatment with Blephasteam

I mentioned earlier how Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is typically the culprit for dry eye discomfort. So a dry eye therapy we offer right here in our clinic is Blephasteam – a simple yet ingenious device designed to tackle MGD head-on.

It might sound like something out of a spa menu, and it’s just as relaxing! Blephasteam offers a warm embrace to your eyelids, providing a consistent, gentle steam that heats the eyelid area. This therapy softens the oils in the glands, making it easier to release them, which is crucial for a healthy tear film.

The device itself looks like a pair of goggles and is made of a soft, flexible material to ensure comfort during treatment. The mask has a heating element within it that generates a controlled amount of steam, and it’s connected to a control unit that regulates the temperature and timing of the steam therapy. The overall design is focused on providing a snug fit while delivering the therapeutic moist heat around the eyes.

Meibomian Gland Expression

Within the clinic our meibomian gland expression is another way we can get your eyelid glands working the way they are supposed to. This gentle procedure squeezes out congealed oil to clear any blockages in the eyelid meibomian glands, ensuring that your natural tear film can do its job effectively.

It’s a bit like unclogging a pipe – not the most glamorous process, but the results speak for themselves. We use a handheld instrument with a small, flat, paddle-like end that is used to apply gentle, targeted pressure to the eyelids.

The frequency of meibomian gland expression treatments can vary widely depending on the individual patient’s condition, the severity of their meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and their response to treatment. For patients with moderate to severe MGD, initial dry eye treatments may be more frequent.

Some optometrists might start with treatments spaced a few weeks apart to aggressively manage the condition and provide relief. Once the condition is under control, the treatments may be spaced out further, with many patients requiring maintenance treatments every 4 to 6 months.

BlephEx for Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation that affects the edges of your eyelids, right where the eyelashes grow. The condition causes the eyelids to become inflamed with redness, itchiness, and sometimes scales or crusts at the base of the lashes. This inflammation can also affect the meibomian glands within the eyelids.

This is where our BlephEx eyelid cleansing tool becomes a game changer. It is a small, handheld device, with a disposable, soft, micro-sponge tip that spins at high speed. This tip is used to gently exfoliate the eyelids and lashes, removing debris and scrubbing away the biofilm that can lead to blepharitis. The device resembles a small electric toothbrush or a miniature version of a rotary tool, with a design that allows for precision cleaning of the delicate areas around the eyes.

Is BlephEx painful? Not at all. It’s a completely tolerable experience, akin to brushing your teeth.

The whole procedure, which we carry out right here in the clinic, takes no more than a few minutes per eye. And the best part? Most of our patients notice an improvement almost immediately.

BlephEx isn’t a silver bullet for dry eyes — it’s part of a larger, personalized dry eye treatment routine. Depending on your situation, we might suggest complementing BlephEx with specific eye drops or other treatments to keep your eyes feeling comfortable and clear. We recommend a session about every 4-6 months.

Canberra’s Challenging Dry Eye Climate

Our goal as a team at Junic Eye Care is to empower you with treatment options that bring lasting comfort for your eyes and improved quality of life.

In Canberra, with our harsh winters and allergen-rich springs, dry eye syndrome can be particularly severe.

But don’t let dry eyes dim your view of our beautiful city—let us help you get back to clear, irritation free vision!

You’ll find our clinic conveniently located in the Molonglo Health Hub, just a short 10 minute drive from central Canberra, with plenty of free parking when you get here.

To visit our optometry practice, click the “Book Online” button at the top of the page or call (02) 6152 8585 today.

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.