Tear Film Clinic


The tear film clinic covers all tear film abnormalities from dry eyes to watery eyes. We take referrals from local GPs in the areas of Northolt, Greenford, Ealing, Hillingdon, Harrow and further afield. Tear film abnormalities can cause a number of problems from dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) to watery eyes (epiphora). The causes are multifactorial.

The following are some factors that can cause or contribute towards dry eyes:

  • Medication

  • Smoking

  • Hormones

  • Dietary deficiency

  • Dry/ dusty environments

  • Computer use

  • Inflammatory conditions eg. Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Contact lenses

  • Age

  • Cosmetic laser surgery

The tear film is composed of a balance of 3 layers working together to provide nutrients, lubricate and defend the eyes. A deficiency in any of these layers can lead to a breakdown in the tear film, causing dry eyes or watery eyes.

The quantity and quality of the tears  as well as normally functioning accessory glands and ducts and contribute to a good balance and normal function.

Under production or over evaporation of tears, or pathology of any of the accessory glands and ducts will give rise to a tear film abnormality.

If you experience any of the following, you should consider having a dry eye assessment.

  • Do you feel your eyes are sandy or gritty?

  • Do you have watery eyes?

  • Do you rub your eyes?

  • Do you have red eyes?

  • Do you feel any discomfort when you work with a computer or tablet?

  • Do your eyes sting or burn?

  • Do your eyes itch?

  • Do you experience eye irritation from smoke or wind?

  • Do you experience blurring of vision that changes with each blink?

What the Optometrist will do

  • Detailed symptoms and history of your experiences

  • Assessment of the tear film

  • Assessment of the eye surface

  • Assessment of the underside of the eye lids

  • Assessment of the glands inside your eye lids

  • Assessment of your blink response & rate

  • Recommendations for treatment, based on the above information

Please note, dry eye problems develop over a period of time and require time to improve. They may not go completely and treatment involves helping you to manage the symptoms.

Treatments

Treatment can range from drops, massage, scrubs & oral supplements. Can be as simple as changing the way you do things day to day.

More specialist treatment can include:

  • Microblepharo Exfoliation (Blephex) for blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.

  • Lacrimal syringing for watery eyes to assess the drainage ducts of the eyes.

  • Punctum plugs to reduce or stop drainage in cases of more severe dry eyes.