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5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause & Dry Eye

Women over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome.

 

  • What are the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome? 

 

Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic condition that can have many different causes.

It can be moderate to severe, and can flare up due to environmental conditions and lifestyle.
Dry Eye symptoms include:

 

  • Itchy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Gritty eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitive to light
  • Eyes more watery than normal
  • Tears drying up (tear evaporation)
  • Decreased tear production.

 

Dry Eye- Menopause and Dry Eye

 

  • Why are women over 50 more likely to suffer from chronic dry eyes? 

 

Perimenopausal, Menopausal and Postmenopausal women are particularly prone to dry eyes, because sex hormones such as androgens affect tear production. 

 

Androgens are present in all genders, but females present lower levels, which then decrease after menopause. This affects the balance of tear production, causing dry eyes.

 

 

  • What other things can make Dry Eye worse? 

 

Dry Eye Syndrome can have many different causes. When they overlap with each other, patients can experience painful flare-ups. Here are some of the factors other than menopause that can trigger Dry Eye symptoms: 

 

 

 

Night time Dry Eye affects many people, as your body’s metabolism slows at night, so fewer tears are produced.
For people that already suffer from chronic dry eyes, this can result in irritating symptoms during the night because they already deal with problems to do with the quality and quantity of tear production.

 

Dry Eye and Me- Menopause and Dry Eye

 

 

Staring at screens reduces our blink rate, causing our eyes to dry out. Chronically dry, itchy eyes are one of the key symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome, which between 50-90% of people who work at a computer screen suffer from.  

 

Dry Eye and Me- Menopause and Dry Eye

 Top tips for dealing with dry eyes during Menopause:

 

 

  • Eat well and stay hydrated.

 

Drink lots of fluids to properly hydrate your body and eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin A to encourage healthy tear production and prevent Dry Eye.  

 

  •   Use a humidifier to prevent dry eyes.

 

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can help people who suffer from Dry Eyes.

 

  •   Cut down on smoking and drinking.

 

Do not smoke or drink too much alcohol as this can profoundly affect your dry eye symptoms.

 

  •  Take regular breaks from staring at screens

 

Taking regular breaks to rest your eyes from digital screens can prevent Computer Vision Syndrome. One technique that can help is the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. [“ref link=https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/dry-eye-screen-use” ] Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed April 2022. [/ref]

 

 

  • Follow a three-step treatment plan 

 

A three-step treatment plan is a great way to effectively manage your Dry Eye.

 

Step 1: If you are suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye, or Meibomian Gland Disorder, a heated compress, such as Meibopatch ®, to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes.

 

Step 2: Is to cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built-up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef ®, which is specially designed to reduce discomfort.

 

Step 3: Is to incorporate an effective lubricant such as any drop from the VISUFamily range. Depending on your condition, you can choose an eye drop that will help ease your symptoms.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

 

If you’re struggling with itchy, dry eyes, why not follow us on social @dryeyeandme for tips on symptoms, lifestyle and care.

 

Find your perfect eye drop today 

 

Discover 6 Vitamins That Can Help Dry Eye Sufferers 

 

References

     

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    What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

    Many of us spend many hours a day looking at screens, for our jobs and when we’re relaxing watching tv or scrolling through social media. 

     

    But, staring at screens can cause Computer Vision Syndrome, which is an umbrella term for types of eye strain caused by prolonged use of digital screens.

    What are the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome? 

     

    Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome include: 

     

     

    • Blurred vision 
    • Double vision
    • Dry, red eyes 
    • Eye irritation
    • Headaches
    • Neck or back pain.

     

    Dry Eye Computer Vision Syndrome

     

     

    How does screen use cause Dry Eye Syndrome?

     

    Dry eyes are a key symptom of Computer Vision Syndrome. Our eyes need to stay moist to be healthy and blinking helps cover the eyes with a lubricating layer called the tear film.

    When we stare at digital devices, we blink less often. Therefore, the longer we spend looking at screens, the dryer our eyes become.

     

    A recent study of Japanese workers even goes as far as to suggest that working on screens for an extended period of time can change the composition of your tears, potentially causing chronic Dry Eye Syndrome.

     

     

    Tips to avoid Computer Vision Syndrome

     

    • Reduce screen time.

     

    One of the most effective ways to reduce eye strain and dry eyes due to staring at screens is to cut down your screen time. Limiting how many hours a day you spend looking at digital devices can help protect against itchy, dry eyes.

     

     

    • Follow the 20:20:20 rule

     

     

    Every 20 minutes, try to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 20 seconds is long enough for your eyes to fully relax, so doing this frequently when you are looking at your screen is a great way to keep your eyes in a healthy condition.
     

    •      Adjust your monitor

     

    If you are using a monitor, try putting it directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away, just below eye level. This way the eyes can see the screen without being overly strained.

    •       Make the text bigger

     

    Making the text bigger on your phone, laptop or tablet makes it easier to see, reducing the likelihood of Dry Eye symptoms developing.

    •    Find the right lighting

     

    Bright lights that reflect back into your eyes can often make screen associated Dry Eye much worse. Softer background lighting is better for your eyes, and also creates a calm environment.

     

    Dry Eye Computer Vision Syndrome Blog

     

         

    • Use a humidifier

     

    This is a great tip, especially for people who work from home. A humidifier adds moisture to the air in the room, helping to prevent Dry Eye.

     

     

    •        Use an app

     

    This is a useful way to limit screen use in your downtime as well as work time. Software like f.lux automatically adjusts the brightness and tone of your screen to protect your eyes. And apps like Time Out remind you to take regular breaks from your device.

     

     

    •      Use a lubricating eye drop

     

    Lubricating eye drops for dry eyes can provide relief from Dry Eye symptoms caused by screen use. By incorporating VisuXL ® eye drops into your morning routine, you can help your eyes stay hydrated for a full 12 hours, thanks to its smart gel technology.

     

    If you’re struggling with itchy, dry eyes, why not follow us on social @dryeyeandme for tips on symptoms, lifestyle and care.

     

    Learn more about Dry Eye Syndrome 

     

    6 Vitamins to Boost Eye Health

    References

      Back to news

      Eye drops vs eye gel for dry eyes

       

      When it comes to Dry Eye, there are many different treatment options. It’s easy to get confused about which product to go for, or even worse, not be able to find a product that eases your symptoms.

       

      It can sometimes be hard to get adequate information about Dry Eye treatments; that’s why we want to offer expert tips about the difference between eye drops and eye gels. 

       

      What is Dry Eye Disease? 

       

      Dry Eye Disease is a chronic condition where patients suffer from gritty, sore, itchy, or blurry eyes. 1 It affects 1 in 4 people in the UK and can range from moderate to severe. 2 You might need different treatments depending on the nature of your condition. 

       

      Dry Eye often affects people over 50, predominantly women, and can flare up due to other factors like allergies, lifestyle and environment. 3

      dry eye drops vs gel

       

      What are eye drops and eye gels?

       

      Eye drops are traditionally the go to treatment for Dry Eye and other related conditions. There are many different types, including preservative or preservative-free, contact lens friendly and standard or cross-linked Hyaluronic Acid (HA) drops. 4

       

      Eye gels, however, are becoming more popular, especially with long-term sufferers of Dry Eye conditions. They can come in drop form and in ointment form, with drop form being the easiest to apply for most patients. 5

       

      eye drops- dry eye

      What’s the difference?

       

      Eye gels are usually more viscous, and will stay in your eyes for a longer period of time. Due to the fact that they stay on the surface of the eyes for longer, they are able to provide more long lasting protection against dry, itchy eyes.

      How do I know which one to pick? 

      The type of treatment you opt will mainly depend on your symptoms and specific conditions. If you are looking for lasting relief, it may be more effective to try a lubricating gel drop like VisXL ® Gel. 6 It transforms from a liquid in the bottle to a gel when it reaches the surface of the eye, and remains in place for a full 12 hours. Therefore, patients only need 1 drop, morning and night, for a full 12 hours of comfort and protection. 7 8 

       

      Before choosing a treatment, you might want to speak to your GP to check that you don’t have a condition associated with Dry Eye, like MGD or Blepharitis, that might need slightly different treatment. 

       

      For anyone suffering from severe dry eyes, it’s a good idea to follow a three step treatment plan.

       

      Step 1: Apply a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch®, to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes. 9 

       

      Step 2: Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built-up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef®. It is specially designed to reduce discomfort and remove build-up around the lashes caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. 10

       

       Step 3: Incorporate an effective eye drop like VisuXL® Gel into your daily routine. With 12 hr protection from just one drop morning and night, you can enjoy lasting comfort and without the need to reapply throughout the day. Just one drop each time you brush your teeth is all you’ll need for lasting lubrication.   11 12

       

      Hopefully, this guide has helped you identify the difference between eye drops and gels, and think about a personalised treatment plan that would work for your condition. It’s important to remember that any medication can be combined with lifestyle changes to minimise Dry Eye symptoms even further. 

       

      Follow us on socials @dryeyeandme for tips on symptoms, lifestyle and care! 

       

      Got Dry Eye and wear contacts? See our top tips to minimise symptoms 

       

      Discover 8 foods to eat if you have Dry Eye

       

      References

       

      1. NHS England, ‘Dry Eyes’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/, Accessed Jan 2022.
      2. Wimpole Eye Clinic. ‘Why Are My Eyes So Scratchy and Dry’, https://wimpoleeyeclinic.com/the-human-eyes-explained/why-are-my-eyes-so-scratchy-and-dry/
      3. Valencia Higuera and Erika Klein, ‘Chronic Dry Eye Causes and How to Treat Them’, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-dry-eye/causes-how-to-treat, Accessed Feb 2020.
      4. Godman, Heibi, ‘Eye Drops For Dry Eyes’, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/great-eye-drops-dry-eyes
      5. Veazey, Karen,’What to know about dry eye gel drops and what conditions they treat’, Medical News Today, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/dry-eye-gel-drops#conditions-gel-drops-treat
      6. Robertson, Danielle, ‘Severe dry eye: Advanced solutions to a common, chronic condition’, UT SouthWestern Medical Centre, https://utswmed.org/medblog/dry-eye-treatment-clinic/
      7. VisuXL Gel Instructions For Use IFU.
      8. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.
      9. Mebiopatch Instructions For Use (IFU)
      10. Naviblef Instructions For Use (IFU)
      11. VisuXL Gel Instructions For Use IFU.
      12. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.
      Back to news

      How does hayfever season affect Dry Eye sufferers?

      For many of us, the joy of spring also equals hayfever season, which can mean watery, itchy eyes.

       

      For Dry Eye sufferers, this season can be doubly difficult, as pollen allergies combined with Dry Eye symptoms can cause extra discomfort. 1

       

      This blog explains what Dry Eye is, how allergies can affect it, and what treatment you can seek if you are suffering from chronic itchy, irritated eyes in hayfever season.

       

      What is Dry Eye Disease? 

       

       

      Dry Eye Disease is a chronic condition, where patients experience itchy, gritty, irritated or watery eyes. 2 One in four people in the UK suffer from Dry Eye, and whilst it is usually not very serious, the symptoms can be frustrating and impact people’s quality of life. 3

       

      Dry Eye and hayfever

      Why can Dry Eye symptoms sometimes feel worse in spring? 

       

      Many people who suffer from Dry Eye also suffer from allergies, so there is much crossover between the two. Existing symptoms such as redness, soreness, burning or stinging, itchiness, and blurry vision are more likely to get worse in the spring when pollen allergies are most prevalent. 4

      dry eye hayfever

      What can I do to ease the symptoms? 

       

       

      • Avoidance

       

      It may sound simple, but if you know that you suffer from pollen, dust or pet allergies, do your best to avoid irritants. Pollen allergies are hard to avoid when going outside in the spring, but checking the pollen count on apps such as Apple Weather or BBC Weather can be a good idea.

      Wearing wraparound sunglasses outside during hayfever season also helps to mitigate Dry Eye symptoms. 5

       

      dry eye hayfever

       

      • Antihistamines 

       

      Antihistamines can be a good way to minimise allergy symptoms. However, some oral antihistamines can actually dry the eyes out even further, exacerbating symptoms.6

       

      Therefore, many experts recommend topical allergy treatments, such as antihistamine gels or eye drops, as they can reduce the irritation more effectively.

       

      If your allergy symptoms persist and become severe, it’s a good idea to consult your GP.

       

       

      • Eye drops

       

      Eye drops can soothe eyes that are itchy and irritated from allergies and Dry Eye Disease. Artificial tears are one type of eye drop that is readily available over the counter and can help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes. 7

       

      Gel eye drops, like VisuXL Gel, can provide a thicker moisture barrier, helping to lubricate your eyes for up to 12 hours. 8 9 10

       

      If you’re struggling with itchy, dry eyes, why not follow us on socials @dryeyeandme for tips on symptoms, lifestyle and care. 

       

      Find your perfect eye drop today 

       

      Wondering what is causing your Dry Eye? Click here to find out 

       

      References

       

      1. Davis, J. A., Ousler, G. W., III, Langelier, N. A., Schindelar, M. R., Abelson, R., & Abelson, M.B. (2006, May). Seasonal changes in dry eye symptomatology. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 47(13), 280
      2. NHS England, ‘Dry Eyes’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/, Accessed Jan 2022.
      3. Wimpole Eye Clinic. ‘Why Are My Eyes So Scratchy and Dry’, https://wimpoleeyeclinic.com/the-human-eyes-explained/why-are-my-eyes-so-scratchy-and-dry/
      4. Kumar, N., Feuer, W., Lanza, N. L., & Galor, A. (2016, August 1). Seasonal variation in dry eye. Ophthalmology, 122(8), 1727-1729
      5. Mangan, B Richard, ‘When Allergy and Dry Eye Collide’, Review of Optometry, https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/article/when-allergy-and-dry-eye-collide
      6. Ousler GW 3rd, Workman DA, Torkildsen GL. ‘An open-label, investigator-masked, crossover study of the ocular drying effects of two antihistamines, topical epinastine and systemic loratadine, in adult volunteers with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.’ Clin Ther. 2007 Apr;29(4):611-6. 
      7. Alaina, L. ‘Artificial Tears: How to Select Eye Drops for Dry Eyes’, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/expert-answers/artificial-tears/faq-20058422 Accessed Jan 2022.
      8. Dresden, Danielle, ‘Some of the Best Gel Eye Drops for Dry Eyes for 2022’, Medical News Today, 13/10/21, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-gel-eye-drops, Accessed Jan 2022.
      9. VisuXL Gel Instructions For Use (IFU)
      10. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.
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      6 Causes of Dry Eye

      Dry Eye Syndrome is a chronic condition, with varying degrees of severity. It can have multiple causes which can overlap with each other. 1

       

      Dry Eye can also co-exist, or be caused by other related conditions such as Meibomian Gland Disorder (MGD) and Blepharitis.

       

      There are some very common causes or triggers of Dry Eye that affect lots of people, and some less common causes, like pre-existing conditions and specific medication that can cause irritating symptoms for a minority of people. 

       

      1. Age/ Menopause 

       

      One of the most common causes of Dry Eye Syndrome is age, especially if you are a woman. Dry Eye affects approximately 5-30% of the elderly population, with menopause increasing the likelihood of developing symptoms.2

       

      As we age, our cells experience more oxidative stress, and the lacrimal gland that produces our tears deteriorates the older we get.3 In Menopause especially, decressed production of androgens (sex hormones) in women further affects tear production.4

       

      2. Lifestyle 

       

      Lifestyle, diet, and environment can really trigger Dry Eye Disease. Dry eyes can be caused by things like heating and air conditioning systems, as well as the outdoor environment e.g. windy, cold, dry or dusty weather conditions.5 Smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause Dry Eye, or can make existing symptoms much worse.6 

       

      On the other hand, eating certain foods, living a generally healthy lifestyle, and reducing screen time can help reduce symptoms.7

      3. Medication 

       

      Certain medications can cause Dry Eye, or make it worse. These include: 

       

      • Acne medication
      • Antidepressants
      • Parkison’s medications
      • Sleeping Pills
      • Antihistamines
      • Birth Control and other hormone treatment
      • Blood pressure medication.8

       

      Screen Use 

       

      When we stare at computers, mobiles, or any other digital screens, our blink rate slows, drying out our eyes. 9

       

      This is called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and affects people of all ages.10 It can, combined with other Dry Eye triggers, make existing conditions much worse. Top tips to prevent CVS include reducing screen time and following the 20:20:20 rule.11

      Pre-Existing Conditions 

       

      Dry Eye can also be a symptom of other, pre-existing conditions, like:

       

      • Sjogren’s Syndrome
      • Diabetes
      • Rheumatoid Arthritis 
      • Hypothyroidism
      • Lagophthalmos.12

       

       

      Contact Lenses

       

      Contact lenses can aggravate Dry Eye because the presence of the lens on the cornea limits oxygen flow into the eye, and oxygen is necessary to develop natural tears.13

       

      However, there are some top tips to manage wearing contacts if your eyes feel itchy and dry. 

       

      There are many different causes of Dry Eye, but there are also many different treatments for Dry Eye!  If you think you are suffering visit a GP, or explore this guide to which Dry Eye Treatment might be best for you.

       

      Discover 6 Lifestyle Changes to Get Rid of Dry Eye

       

      References

       

      1. Valencia Higuera and Erika Klein, ‘Chronic Dry Eye Causes and How to Treat Them’, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-dry-eye/causes-how-to-treat, Accessed Feb 2020.
      2. Anushree Sharma, Holly B. Hindman, ‘Aging: A Predisposition to Dry Eyes’, J Ophthalmol, 2014; 2014: 781683.
      3. Cintia S. de Paiva, ‘Effects of Aging in Dry Eye’, Int Ophthalmol Clin., 2017 Spring; 57(2): 47–64.
      4. Corinne O’Keefe Osborn, ‘Menopause and Dry Eyes: What’s the Link? https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-and-dry-eyes. Accessed Feb 2022
      5. Monica Alves, Priscila Novaes, Monica de Andrade Morraye, Peter Sol Reinach, Eduardo Melani Rocha, ‘Is Dry Eye an Environmental Disease?’, Arq Bras Oftalmol, May-Jun 2014;77(3):193-200.
      6. Griffin, Morgan. ‘Smoking and Dry Eye’, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/smoking-dry-eyes, Accessed Feb 2022.
      7. Dry Eye and Me, ‘6 Lifestyle Tips to Get Rid of Dry Eye,’ https://www.dryeyeandme.co.uk/6-lifestyle-tips-to-get-rid-of-dry-eye/ Accessed Feb 2022.
      8. ‘Is Your Medication Causing Dry Eye?’, WedMD, 
      9. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/dry-eye-screen-use
      10. Stephanie Watson, ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome, Accessed Feb 2022.
      11. Marcin, Ashley , ‘How Does the 20-20-20 Rule Prevent Eye Strain?’ Healthline https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/20-20-20-rule#:~:text=The%2020%2D20%2D20%20rule%20can%20help%20your%20eyes%20refocus,your%20eyes%20for%2015%20minutes 
      12. ‘Causes’, Not a Dry Eye Foundation, https://www.notadryeye.org/all-about-dry-eye-syndrome/causes-of-dry-eye-syndrome-and-related-diseases/, Accessed Feb 2022.
      13. Specsavers, ‘Your Guide to Wearing Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes’, Accessed Sep 2021:.https://www.specsavers.co.uk/contact-lenses/eye-conditions-symptoms/contact-lenses-for-dry-eyes
      Back to news

      Smoking and Dry Eye

      Smoking is harmful, because cigarettes contain many chemicals that can damage our bodies.1 

      The eyes are no exception, and you might have noticed that cigarette smoke can make your eyes itch or burn. 1 

      For sufferers of Dry Eye Disease, this reaction can be even worse. In fact, there are a number of scientific studies which have concluded that smoking could increase the risk of Dry Eyes. 2

       

      What is Dry Eye?

       

      Dry Eye Disease is a common eye condition that causes the ocular surface to become dry and irritated, either due to an increase in tear evaporation, or a decrease in tear production. It affects one in four people in the UK alone and can be caused by multiple factors.3 

      There are many different symptoms of Dry Eye which can include itchy, sore, gritty, blurry, red or light sensitive eyes, to name a few. 4

       

      Why Smoking Aggravates Dry Eye

       

      When we blink, the glands in our eyelids coat the ocular surface with a layer of tears. This protects them from dust, debris and drying out.5 The many harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke can break down this layer, leading to insufficient tears, causing the eye’s surface to become dry and irritated.6 Smoking can even change the composition of your tears over time, which can lead to further Dry Eye symptoms. 7

       

      In addition, the harmful metals found in cigarettes can not only cause damage to the ocular surface, but can also severely affect the blood vessels that supply it with much-needed nutrients.8

       

      How can I help ease symptoms of Dry Eye? 

       

      Ultimately, if you are experiencing symptoms of Dry Eye Disease due to smoking, the most effective solution would be to consider significantly reducing consumption or quitting. 

       

      For advice about quitting smoking, and other smoking-related health concerns, please visit the NHS website. 

       

      Smoking is just one potential factor that can cause or worsen symptoms of Dry Eye Disease and we recommend that you seek the advice of a medical professional to better understand your condition. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are a variety of treatment options, from ocular lubricants, a to daily lifestyle changes that you could begin to implement. 9

       

      3 Step treatment plan 

       

      A 3 step treatment plan can help to effectively manage your Dry Eye, and avoid painful flare-ups.

       

      Step 1: Apply a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch®, to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes.

       

      Step 2: Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef ®, that is specially designed to reduce discomfort.

       

      Step 3: Incorporate an effective eye drop into your daily routine, such as VisuXL® Gel. A single drop provides 12 hours of protection, meaning you only need to able application once when you wake up and just before you head off to sleep. 10 11

       

      Remember, if you’re struggling with Dry Eye Disease, or worried about smoking-related conditions, please talk to your GP. 

       

      For more advice on how to treat dry, itchy eyes, visit our treatment page.

       

      Alcohol can also cause dry eyes, read more.

       

      Find out which lifestyle choices can help dry eye sufferers 

       

      References: 

       

      1. NHS UK, https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-are-the-health-risks-of-smoking/, Accessed Feb 2022.
      2. Li Xu, Wei Zhang, Xiao-Yu Zhu, Tao Suo, Xian-Qun Fan, and Yao Fu, ‘Smoking and the Risk of Dry Eye: a Meta-Analysis’, Int J Ophthalmol. 2016; 9(10): 1480–1486.
      3. Garty, David, ‘Why Are My Eyes so Scratchy and Dry?’, The Wimpole Eye Clinic, https://wimpoleeyeclinic.com/the-human-eyes-explained/why-are-my-eyes-so-scratchy-and-dry/#:~:text=It%20is%20usually%20caused%20by,on%20a%20long%2Dterm%20basis, Accessed Feb 2022
      4. NHS UK, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/, Accessed Feb 2022.
      5. Griffin, Morgan. ‘Smoking and Dry Eye’, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/smoking-dry-eyes, Accessed Feb 2022.
      6. Jyothi Thomas, George P. Jacob, Lekha Abraham, and Babu Noushad, ‘The effect of smoking on the ocular surface and the precorneal tear film’, Australas Med J. 2012; 5(4): 221–226.
      7. Griffin, Morgan. ‘Smoking and Dry Eye’, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/smoking-dry-eyes, Accessed Feb 2022.
      8. ‘The Shocking Effects Smoking Has On Eyes’, Optical Express, https://www.opticalexpress.co.uk/magazine/article/the-shocking-effects-smoking-has-on-eyes, Accessed Feb 2022.
      1. ‘Chronic Dry Eye’, Healthy Women’, https://www.healthywomen.org/condition/chronic-dry-eye/overview, Accessed Feb 2022. 
      2. VisuXL Instructions for Use (IFU).
      3. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.

       

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      How to Find Your Perfect Eye Drop

      Eye drops can be used to treat various eye problems, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, you might receive prescription eye drops from your doctor to treat an infection, or if you are suffering from dry, itchy eyes, you might look for an over the counter eye drop to ease your symptoms. 1

       

      What is Dry Eye Syndrome? 

       

      If your eyes are itchy, streaming or irritated, you might be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition can be caused by many factors, including if you are over 50 or going through menopause, side effects of certain drugs, related conditions, or even lifestyle choices like smoking or drinking alcohol.2

       

      How can eye drops help? 

       

      Lubricating eye drops are the most common treatment of Dry Eye, to ease irritating symptoms. 3

       

      However, there are many types of eye drops, and different eye drops work for different people. It depends on the causes, severity and symptoms of your Dry Eye as to which eye drop you should be using.

       

      This blog explores some of the main types of eye drops you can use, to help you identify your perfect eye drop.

       

      What are artificial tears?

       

      Artificial tears are eye drops used to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes. 4 Artificial tears are available over the counter, and there are many different types. Xalin ® tears, for example, are designed to moisturise the eye and alleviate redness, irritation and eye fatigue associated with Dry Eye Syndrome. 5 

       

      What is the difference between preservative and preservative-free eye drops? 

       

      Some eye drops contain a preserving ingredient called benzalkonium chloride (BAK) to keep the drops sterile, and some don’t. 6 If you suffer from Dry Eye and use eye drops on a regular basis, it’s best to consider a preservative-free eye drop, as the alternative can harm the cells in your eyes over time and even lead to your symptoms getting worse. 7

       

      What are gel drops?

       

      Gel eye drops are a type of lubricating eye drop. They are a liquid that turns into a gel as soon as it touches the surface of the eye, so are thicker than ordinary liquid eye drops.8 Gel drops like VisuXL ® Gel can be ideal for treating more severe Dry Eye, and for relieving symptoms at night. 9

       

      How should I use eye drops? 

       

      Eye drops can be used as the last phase of a three-step treatment plan, to effectively manage chronic Dry Eye Syndrome. 

       

      Step 1: Apply a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch ® , to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes.

       

      Step 2: Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef ® , that is specially designed to reduce discomfort. 10

       

      Step 3: Incorporate an eye drop from the VISUfamily range into your daily routine, to effectively manage your symptoms over time. 

      In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

      VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

      VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

      VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

      All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

       

      There are many different eye drops on the market, so it is ultimately best to consult your GP before starting any treatment plan, especially if your condition is serious.

       

      For more advice about choosing Dry Eye treatments, click here.

       

      To see which eye drops can be used with contact lenses, click here.

       

      References:

      1. University of Illinois, ‘How to Use Eye Drops’, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/general-use/how-to-use-eye-drops Accessed Jan 2022.
      2. NHS England, ‘Dry Eyes’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/, Accessed Jan 2022. 
      3. ‘What Causes Dry Eyes, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-dry-eyes
      4. Alaina, L. ‘Artificial Tears: How to Select Eye Drops for Dry Eyes’, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/expert-answers/artificial-tears/faq-20058422 Accessed Jan 2022.
      5. Xalin Tears Instrunctions for Use (IFU)
      6. Waton, Kathryn. ‘What to Know About Preservative-Free Eye Drops, Plus Products to Consider’, Heathline, 20/11/19, Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.healthline.com/health/preservative-free-eye-drops
      7. Malik Y. Kahook, MD,and Aurora, Colo, ‘The Pros and Cons of Preservatives’, Review of Opthamology, 15/04/15. 
      8. Dresden, Danielle, ‘Some of the Best Gel Eye Drops for Dry Eyes for 2022’, Medical News Today, 13/10/21, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/best-gel-eye-drops, Accessed Jan 2022.
      9. Ranieri, Miranda, MD, ‘Eye Drops vs. Gel vs. Ointment: What’s the Difference?’, Queensway Optometric Centre, 11/08/11, https://queenswayoptometric.com/eye-drops-vs-gel-vs-ointment-whats-the-difference/ Accessed Jan 2022.
      10. Navibelf Instructins For Use (IFU)
      11. VisuXL Instructions For Use (IFU)
      12. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.
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      6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

      It’s common knowledge that our diet can affect our health and how we feel on a day to day basis. We don’t often realise that what we eat can also affect our eyes. 

       

      Luckily, there are certain vitamins and minerals that boost eye health. This can be especially beneficial if you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, which is where your eyes feel itchy, sore, gritty, blurry or irritated on a regular basis.1 Adding in vitamins which boost eye health to your diet, combined with a regular treatment plan, can reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.

       

      We’ve created a list of six vitamins and minerals that can be found in foods we eat on a regular basis, to boost your eye health and help chronic Dry Eye. 

       

      Vitamin A

       

      Vitamin A aids in keeping your cornea clear, helping you to see.2 Studies have also shown that Vitamin A may be associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).3 For Dry Eye patients, these things can be helpful to protect and strengthen the eyes. Vitamin A can be found in high quantities in sweet potatoes and carrots.4

       

      Vitamin E

       

      Many eye conditions, including Dry Eye Syndrome, are believed to be associated with oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. 5 Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so can it protect eye cells from damage by free radicals, which are harmful, unstable molecules. 6 Avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds are all good sources of Vitamin E.7

       

      Omega 3

       

      Omega 3 fatty acid has been found to help reduce inflammation in the eyes and aid in tear production, which makes it extremely beneficial for Dry Eye patients. 8 The most common source of Omega 3 is cold water fish like salmon, but chia seeds, soy and nuts are also good sources. 9

       

      Vitamin C

       

      Vitamin C is an important part of any diet. 10 Like Vitamin E, it is an antioxidant, which makes it beneficial for eye health. 11 It is also a building block which helps the body create collagen, a protein that provides structure to the eyes. 12Citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes and strawberries are all great sources of Vitamin C. 13

       

      Riboflavin 

       

      Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is also an antioxidant that can help eye health. Health authorities recommend consuming 1.1–1.3 mg of riboflavin per day. 14It’s usually easy to achieve this amount, as many foods are high in riboflavin. Some examples include oats, milk, yogurt, beef and fortified cereals. 15

       

      Vitamin D

       

      Last but not least, research has found that Vitamin D might play a role in protecting against the development of dry eyes by improving factors linked to the coating of tears that cover the front of the eye. It may also help reduce inflammation on the surface of the eye. 16 The most obvious source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but fatty fish, shellfish and mushrooms are also good sources. 17

       

      It is important to consume all of these vitamins as part of a healthy balanced diet, and whilst they may help ease Dry Eye Symptoms they are not a cure and should be adopted along with a treatment plan that is discussed with a medical practitioner. 

      VisuXL

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      VisuXL Gel

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      VisuEVO

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      If you want to learn about how lifestyle changes can help Dry Eye, click here.

       

      To see more foods that are good for your eyes, click here.

       

      References

      1. NHS England, ‘Dry Eyes’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eyes/, Accessed Jan 2022. 
      2. Meixner, Makayla, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins, Accessed Jan 2022.
      3. Seddon, J, M, Ajani, U, A, Sperduto, R D, et al, ‘Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-related Macular Degeneration.’, JAMA, 1994 Nov 9;272(18):1413-20.
      4. Vimont, Ceila. ‘36 Fabulous Foods to Boost Eye Health’, American Academy of Opthamology, 10/01/20, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/fabulous-foods-your-eyes, Accessed Jan 2022.
      5. Dogru, Morat, Kojima, Takashi, Simsek, Cem, Tsubota, Kazuo, ‘Potential Role of Oxidative Stress in Ocular Surface Inflammation and Dry Eye Disease’, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, November 2018, Vol.59, DES163-DES168.
      6. Meixner, Makayla, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins, Accessed Jan 2022.
      7. Vimont, Ceila. ‘36 Fabulous Foods to Boost Eye Health’, American Academy of Opthamology, 10/01/20, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/fabulous-foods-your-eyes, Accessed Jan 2022.
      8. Periman, Laura, ‘Studying the role of omegas in dry eye disease: Beyond the DREAM’, Opthamology Times, July 2018, Accessed Sep 2021: https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/view/studying-role-omegas-dry-eye-disease-beyond-dream
      9. Meixner, Makayla, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins, Accessed Jan 2022.
      10. NHS England, ‘Vitamin C’, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/ Accessed Jan 2022.
      11. Meixner, Makayla, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins, Accessed Jan 2022.
      12. Meek, K, M, Fullwood, N, J, ‘Corneal and Scleral Collagens–A Microscopist’s Perspective’, Micron., 2001 Apr;32(3):261-72. doi: 10.1016/s0968-4328(00)00041-x.
      13. Vimont, Ceila. ‘36 Fabulous Foods to Boost Eye Health’, American Academy of Opthamology, 10/01/20, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/fabulous-foods-your-eyes, Accessed Jan 2022.
      14. Meixner, Makayla, ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, Healthline, 25/07/18, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins, Accessed Jan 2022.
      15. National Institutes of Health, USA, ‘Riboflavin’ https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Riboflavin-HealthProfessional/ Accessed Jan 2022.
      16. Yildirim, Pelin, Garip, Yesim, Karci, Ayse Aslihan, Guler, Tuba, ‘Dry Eye in Vitamin D Deficiency: More Than An Incidental Association’, International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, Vol 19:1, Jan 2017, pp.49-54.

      17.  Hill, Ansley, ‘7 Effective Ways to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels’, Healthline, 17/03/19, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-increase-vitamin-d Accessed Jan 2020.

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      Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

      Alcohol is a key part of many people’s lifestyle and social life. It’s a personal choice whether or not we drink, and how much, but many of our social rituals are rooted around having a drink with friends or family.   

      Alcohol is known to dehydrate the body, and have a negative effect on brain function and overall health.1 But it can also have a negative effect on our eyes. Alcohol increases the sugar level in your blood, which causes the lenses of your eyes to swell, which often results in blurry vision and itchy, irritated eyes. 2

      For people who already suffer from chronic Dry Eye Syndrome, drinking alcohol can increase the risk of symptoms worsening. 

      What are the symptoms of dry eye? 

      You might be suffering from Dry Eye if your if your eyes are: 

      Itchy 

      Burning 

      Achy 

      Heavy 

      Sore 

      Gritty or sandy 

      Red 

      Blurry 

      Fatigued 

      Sensitive to light 

      More watery than normal 3 

       

      Why does alcohol make these symptoms worse?  

      Alcohol dehydrates the eyes and makes it even harder for the body to produce enough tears. 4 Repeated consumption can also make it harder to absorb vitamins and maintain a healthy digestion, which can limit how effectively your body regenerates the tissue in your eyes.5 

      What can you do to minimise symptoms?  

       

      • Reduce your alcohol intake 

      Reducing the amount that you drink, perhaps by taking part in challenges like Dry January can help to improve your health. When we stop consuming alcohol, our eyes have time to strengthen and protect against macular degeneration and Dry Eye Syndrome, as the body is more hydrated and has better blood flow to the vital organs.6 Even drinking only on the weekends is a great start to protect your eyes. 

       

      • Stay hydrated  

       

      Drinking enough water is something we all need to try and do, but especially because it helps keep your eyes hydrated and protects against Dry Eye Syndrome. Experts recommend between 8-10 glasses a day if you already suffer from dry, itchy eyes. 7

       

      • Reduce your screen time  

       

      Spending less time staring at a phone, tablet or laptop, whilst sometimes difficult, is another great thing that helps your eyes recover from alcohol damage.8 

       

      • Maintain a healthy diet, packed full of Vitamin A, C and E 

       

      A balanced diet rich in Omega 3 and vitamins helps boost eye health and reduce the chance of eyes becoming tired and dehydrated.9

       

      • Consider a three-step treatment plan to combat dry eye:  

       

      Step 1: Apply a heated compress, such as Meibopatch®, to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes. 

       

      Step 2: Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built-up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef®, that is specially designed to reduce discomfort. 

       

      Step 3: Incorporate an effective eye drop like VisuXL® Gel into your daily routine. With 12 hr protection with just one drop morning and night, your eyes will feel a great sense of relief this season.10 11  † 

      In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

      VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

      VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

      VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

      All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

       

      For more advice about Dry Eye Syndrome, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram

       

      References:

      1. Pietrangelo, Ann, and Raypole, Crystal, ‘What are the Effects of Alcohol on the body?’, Heathline, 30th Nov 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#psychological Accessed Dec 2021. 
      2. Farrier and Mackinnion Optometrists, https://fmoptom.com/news/dry-january-not-so-dry-eyes/ Accessed Nov 2021.
      3.  Mayo Clinic, ‘Dry Eyes’ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863  Accessed Nov 2021.
      4. You, Young-Sheng, Qu, Nai-Bin, Yu, Xiao-Ning, ‘Alcohol consumption and dry eye syndrome: a Meta-analysis’, International Journey of Opthamology, 2016; 9(10): 1487–1492.
      5. Selina Pfitscher, ‘The Effects of Alcochol on Your Vision’, Lenstore Vision Hub, 13th Feb 2021, Accessed Dec 2021 https://www.lenstore.co.uk/eyecare/alcohol-vision-infographic
      6. Jacci, ‘10 Negative Effects Alcochol Has on the Eyes’, Ultralase, 30th Dec 2019 https://www.ultralase.com/blog/getting-blind-drunk-10-negative-effects-alcohol-has-on-the-eyes/, Accessed Dec 2021.
      7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes’, Accessed Sep 2021: https://www.completeeyecare.net/featured-articles/how-does-hydration-affect-my-eyes/
      8. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed Oct 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/dry-eye-screen-use
      9. Porter, Daniel,.Gregori, Ninel, Z. ‘Diet and Nutrition’, American Academy of Opthamology, Nov 2020, Accessed Sep 2021: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/diet-nutrition
      10. VisuXL Instructions for Use (IFU)
      11. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9. 

      † In an animal model.

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