Dry Eye Clinic

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition where the surface of the eye lacks sufficient moisture or lubrication. To learn more about the nature of the condition, symptoms and causes, click here.

Continue reading below to learn about diagnosis and treatment approaches at The Eye Health Centre.

Diagnosing Dry Eye

A complete dry eye workup will include a thorough analysis of symptoms and clinical signs. Initial assessments include Visual Acuity, Ocular Surface Integrity (Fluorescein and Lissamine Green Analysis, Phenol Red Thread Test), and Lacrimal Secretion (Schirmer Test). In addition, we use revolutionary new dry eye analysis technologies, including Keratograph 5 and TearLab.

Keratograph 5

An advanced corneal topographer with built-in infra-red Dry Eye Analyser and colour camera, which includes

  • Meibography – assesses morphological changes in Meibomian Glands via infra-red scan
  • Gland Dysfunction (MGD) TF-Scan – assesses quality and quantity of tear film by analysing non-invasive tear break up time (NITBUT) and tear meniscus height

TearLab

Assesses tear film Osmolarity (saltiness of the tears), which quantifies the homeostatic nature of the tear film. This is crucial information when selecting the appropriate artificial tear supplement and the likely presence of inflammation.

Treatment Options for Dry Eye

If you are diagnosed with Dry Eye Syndrome by one of our Dry Eye Specialists, your treatment plan will be tailored to you and your condition, and may include one or more of the following approaches.

Artificial Tears

A conventional, first line treatment for mild dry eye cases. It is important to use the right type of artificial tear for different types of dry eye, which may come in drop, gel or ointment form.

Medicated Eye Drops

Steroids or cyclosporine drops may be used to treat underlying inflammation and increase tear production. Doxycycline may be used to treat Blepharitis to decrease inflammation and promote natural oil production.

Bruder EyeCompress

This at-home treatment uses moist heat to open blocked Meibomian oil glands.  The heat then melts the meibum in the glands, improving natural secretions and relieving dry eye symptoms.

The pack can be heated in the microwave for 20 seconds, and applied to the eyes for approximately 10 minutes.

Punctal Plugs

Small silicone or collagen implants may be inserted into the drainage canal (puncta) to reduce the rate of tear drainage.

Blephasteam

A latent heat device which is used to mobilise Meibum in capped Meibomian glands. This improves the natural oily secretions of the tear film.

BlephEx

This instrument is used to debride and clean the eyelid rim and lashes in stubborn cases of anterior Blepharitis (an associated condition of dry eye).

Autologous Serum Tears

These eye drops are manufactured from the patient’s own blood serum and plasma. The immunoglobulins, vitamin A, fibronectin, and growth factors promote epithelial health which treats severe dry eye cases requiring ocular surface restoration.

Read more about Autologous Serum Tears at The Eye Health Centre.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)

A device that generates polychromatic pulsed light by producing perfectly calibrated and homogenously sequenced light pulses. This is a non-invasive, painless method of stimulating the Meibomian Glands to increase their natural secretions. Intensive Pulse light has many reported benefits including sterilisation of the lid margins, liquification of Meibum to facilitate expression of the Meibomian Glands, stimulation of the Mitochondria in the nerves that innovate the Meibomian glands and reduction in the abnormal vessels around the eyes which promote inflammation on the ocular surface.

Autologous Serum Eye Drops

This is an innovative treatment for severe dry eye and persistent ocular surface conditions. These eye drops are manufactured from the patient’s own blood serum and plasma. The immunoglobulins, vitamin A, fibronectin, and growth factors in the serum promote epithelial health which treats severe dry eye cases requiring ocular surface restoration. If you have severe dry eyes and cannot make sufficient tears, then serum has been shown to be a useful substitute as it has unique anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

How are the Serum Eye Drops made?

A small amount of blood is collected. It is allowed to clot and then separated into its different components by centrifuging (spinning) it at very high speed. The part of the blood that is most useful for this treatment is the serum. The serum is placed into sterile eyedrop bottles which are kept in the freezer until the day of use.

Preparation and Usage

Please follow the instructions below to obtain the drops from us.

  • Patients present to our rooms at Level 11, 87 Wickham Terrace for blood collection on the day and time of appointment.
  • The serum eye drops take approximately two hours to prepare (on the same day of blood collection).
  • Patients will need to bring a cool container with frozen cold packs (a small lunch box sized cooler bag will be sufficient) as the drops need to be kept cool while in transit when returning home.
  • Patients are given a three month supply of serum. One bottle is to be used until finished with the remaining bottles kept in your freezer. The bottle in current use is to be refrigerated, as there is no preservative agent.
  • Drops are used 2-6 times a day in both eyes and may be used alone or in addition to your regular lubricants (please check doses and time).
  • If further drops are required, patients will be advised to return to the rooms for further blood collection and preparation of the drops.