People who feel like they blink more when concentrating or think there is something in their eye may have a condition called dry eye, where the body doesn’t produce enough quality tears to keep eyes moist and nourished. Characterised by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film and accompanied by ocular symptoms, the multifactorial disease causes some symptoms and discomfort. Dr Leigh Plowman, an experienced optometrist, runs the Dry Eye Directory, an extensive resource that empowers individuals to find relief and regain their quality of life. He believes that dry eyes shouldn’t affect people’s activity or what they love, informing him to study optometry to conduct extensive research, understand the condition, provide a platform, and help others.
The tear film comprises the inner mucin layer, which connects the cornea to the aqueous/watery layer that makes up most of the tears containing vitamins and minerals for nourishment. While it keeps eyes lubricated and free from unwanted particles, the outer layer has oils or lipids that seal the tear film, preventing the mucin and watery layer from evaporating. An inadequate and unstable tear film results in dry eyes, causing blurred vision, sore/red eyes, burning/stinging sensation, gritty feeling, discomfort when wearing contact lenses, increased light sensitivity, difficulty opening eyes in the morning, and tired eyes. In some cases, dry eyes can also be associated with migraines/headaches and excessive tears when there’s discomfort or irritation.
Besides the tear film disruption, dry eyes can result from decreased tear production or increased evaporation due to health conditions, screen time, aging, recent eye surgery, medication, cosmetics/skincare products, or eyelid problems. A primary care physician may recommend artificial tears for dry eyes available over the counter to relieve irritation or help the eyes feel smooth/clear. However, artificial tear relief is temporary, and the Dry Eye Directory recommends visiting an ophthalmologist to determine the severity and prescribe treatment options. Dr Leigh Plowman explains common fixes like supplements, amniotic membranes/drops, tear duct flushing, Meibomian gland expression, intense pulsed light treatment, and more.
The optometrist also reviews the ten best eye drops for dry eyes, each with its benefits, price, and where to purchase. Some eye drops support the tear film layers, restore electrolyte balance, and reduce inflammation, while others form a gel cushion for the eyes and boost moisture production. The guide includes what to look for in eye drops when seeing an optometrist, other treatments besides eye drops, dry eye diagnoses, and simple home remedies. Visit the website to learn more about Dry Eye Directory.
Dr Leigh Plowman is a full-time clinical optometrist, a key opinion leader, and a consultant who has lectured hundreds of optometrists about dry eyes. He was part of Optometry Australia’s Inaugural Dry Eye Guide, the first of its kind to list all products and treatments available in the country. As a person with dry eyes, Dr Plowman has tried various methods and enjoys writing for the optometry industry magazine, Mivision. He’s at 30 North Gould Street, Sheridan, Wyoming, 82801, AU.
Dry Eye Directory
30 North Gould Street