Autumn may be a time for wrapping up in your favourite coat, cooking hearty stews and snuggling up in front of Strictly, but it can also be a challenging time for your eye health.

Not least because colder temperatures outside and cranked up heating indoors create prime conditions for the onset of Dry Eye syndrome.

Dry Eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t produce the right quantity or quality of tears. It affects roughly 1 in 4 of the British population and is particularly prevalent during autumn and winter months. To help you navigate Dry Eye season our highly qualified ophthalmic optician Huda has compiled this handy Q&A packed with tips for dry eyes.

Q: What are the symptoms of Dry Eye?

A: Alongside dryness, Dry Eye syndrome can be experienced as soreness, grittiness, excessive eye watering, a burning sensation, sensitivity to light, crusty eyelids and/or even blurry vision. These symptoms can cause extreme discomfort, especially for contact lens wearers.

Q: What are the causes of Dry Eye?

A: When it comes to Dry Eye and related conditions modern lifestyles seem to be stacked against us, with central heating indoors combined with excessive screen use two major contributing factors. You’re also much more likely to suffer from dry eye if you are over 50, due to your tear ducts losing effectiveness as they mature. Other exacerbating factors include cold, windy weather, inflammatory diseases, skin conditions, hormonal changes and certain medications.

Q: How can you treat Dry Eye?

A: If you experience any of the symptoms of Dry Eye, we recommend you book an appointment at our specialist clinic for dry eye treatment in London, where one of our highly qualified ophthalmic opticians can assess the extent of your condition and recommend a bespoke treatment plan. This appointment will involve a short questionnaire, an investigation into your tear flow drainage and an examination for symptoms of blepharitis.

Most commonly, we might prescribe lubricated eye drops or specialist ointment, but if your condition is serious you may require anti-inflammatory medication or antibiotics.

If your symptoms are chronic and recurrent, we might recommend a more comprehensive Dry Eye consultation to create a bespoke treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms in the long term.

Q: How can I avoid Dry Eye?

A: During the day make sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and remember to take your contact lenses out when you get home from work to give your eyes a rest.  If you start to experience grittiness in your eyes, apply a warm compress for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes when you get home from work to help release oil in your eye lid glands.

During the night, use lubricating eye drops before bedtime and if your home is dry from central heating consider investing in a bedside humidifier to prevent your eyes drying out whilst you sleep.

Q: Will the NHS fund my treatment?

A: Our ophthalmic optician Huda is a member of the MECS (Minor Eye Care Service) scheme, so if you’re experiencing a sudden onset of red or sore eyes and are registered to a local GP, you can get an NHS-funded appointment. Huda will examine your condition, talk through your options, and assess whether you require immediate further treatment at a hospital eye clinic.

If you’re experiencing discomfort, thinking ‘what are the symptoms of Dry Eye?’ and want to get peace of mind regarding your eye health, book into Infocus’ specialist clinic for quick and effective Dry Eye treatment in London.