After months of living and working in dry, air conditioned homes and offices, spare a thought for those who suffer as a result. Many people may never have heard of keratoconjunctivitis sicca but it is better known simply as ‘dry eye syndrome’ or ‘dry eye disease’ (dry eye), a common condition that occurs when the eyes don’t make enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly.
In response, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (Moorfields) has launched a new Dry Eye Clinic in its specialist eye hospital to meet the rising demand for diagnosis and treatment of an increasingly common eye complaint among the community. Moorfields’ new clinic comprises the latest and most advanced diagnostic technology and a range of fast and safe treatment options.
Dry Eye leads to the eyes drying out and presents different symptoms such as foreign body sensation, pain, irritation, blurred vision, redness, however in some cases, it presents with no symptoms at all. It’s a common complaint, for example recent studies suggest that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans aged 18 and older regularly experience dry eye symptoms. If left untreated, dry eye can lead to pain, scarring and some vision loss.
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Dry eye can make it more difﬁcult to perform some activities, such as putting on contact lenses, using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance to dry environments, such as an aircraft cabin.
The precise causes of dry eye are difficult to identify and can include a wide range of possible contributing factors including hormonal changes, ageing, environmental factors (hot dry climate, or lots of reading, computer work when people tend to blink less), certain medications, laser eye surgery, contact lenses, and medical conditions, from allergic conjunctivitis to rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the symptoms of dry eye syndrome are mild for most people, more severe cases can be painful and lead to complications, usually affecting both eyes and include dryness, grittiness or soreness that can worsen through the day; burning and red eyes; eyelids that stick together on awakening; temporarily blurred vision, which usually improves with blinking; Some people may also have episodes of watering eyes, which can occur if the eye tries to relieve the irritation by producing more tears.
Dry eye can even develop into something more serious – conjunctivitis or inflammation of the conjunctiva, although most cases are mild and don’t need specific treatment; in rare cases, severe untreated dry eye syndrome can damage the surface of the cornea (keratitis) and make the cornea vulnerable to ulceration and infection, which could potentially threaten sight.
Dry eye treatments include eye drops to lubricate the eyes, medications to reduce any inflammation, surgery to prevent tears from draining away easily. If dry eye syndrome is caused by an underlying condition, treating this condition usually helps to relieve the symptoms.
Dr Paola Salvetti, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Clinical Lead of Aviation Medicine , Specialist in Medical Retina, GCAA Approved Specialist Medical Examiner, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, said: “Dry eye is a very common complaint in the region because of the outside climate, interior air conditioning, and heavy use of screens. It’s not usually serious but can be debilitating for someone who is suffering from the various symptoms and can ultimately affect the quality of life. Depending on the diagnosis, when Meibomian glands dysfunction is involved, treatment may include pulsed light technology sessions of E-Eye treatment that only lasts a few minutes. The procedure is very safe, with scientiﬁcally-proven high success rates.”
Moorfields aims to provide easy access to world leading treatment and diagnosis of dry eye and has invested in the latest high-tech TearLab diagnostic and E-Eye equipment.
Dr Osama Giledi, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Specialist in Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Vision Correction Surgery, Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, added: “Our new Dry Eye Clinic is a one-stop clinic for the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of patients, using some of the most advanced technology and techniques, many of which are unique to Moorfields in the region.”
*Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai is pleased to offer a special introductory launch price of 350AED for Dry Eye diagnosis, offer valid until September 30th, terms and conditions apply. Contact www.moorfields.ae/Dubai or call +9714 429 7888 for details.