Know the signs for ocular surface disease and visit our Tear Clinic

Our new Tear Clinic to treat patients with ocular surface disease was officially opened this week by the Mayor of Hereford, Sharon Michael, as part of our support for National Eye Health Week (September 18-24).

Councillor Michael was shown the benefits of the service by our optometrist Jessica MacIsaac and we wish to also remind patients and members of the wider community that your eyes might be trying to tell you something so please do come and speak to us at the Tear Clinic if you answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Do your eyes bother you when you wear contact lenses?
  • Do your eyes get teary like you just cut an onion?
  • Do your eyes feel gritty like you’ve just got home from the seaside?
  • Do you ever have to blink your eyes to clear your vision?
  • Are your eyes red and irritated like they’ve been in a pool with too much chlorine?
  • Have problems with your eyes stopped you from wearing your favourite mascara?

If you have any of these symptoms then you could have Ocular Surface Disease (or Dry Eye), a condition that can get worse over time. 

Jessica says: “Having Dry Eye doesn’t mean you stop making tears – it means that you may not be making the right quantity or quality of tears or both! This can lead to those frustrating interruptions of the things you love like sitting down to read a real page-turner, or taking in a sought after bright sunny day. Don’t let Dry Eye catch you after you’ve hit your workday groove or when meeting friends for a meal.

“Tears are the key to the health of your eyes because they help lubricate, heal and protect your eye’s surface. In the Tear Clinic, we complete a detailed assessment of your tears and the structures that make them in order to offer you the best solution for YOUR eyes. BBR Optometry Ltd are unique in that we can recommend both at-home therapies and the latest in-practice procedures. 

“We currently offer LipiFlow thermal pulsation treatment, a core therapy that unclogs blocked oil producing glands, which are essential in keeping the front of the eye lubricated and your vision stable throughout the day.

“The £499 treatment involves an initial deep cleansing procedure of the lashes and lid margins called BlephEx, and a 12-minute cycle of directed heating and massaging of the eyelids. 

“We also offer punctal plug fitting for those who do not have a reservoir of tears, tea tree oil treatment for those with Demodex blepharitis, and are trialling Eye-Light treatment for people with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (also called Evaporative Dry eye). Eye-light involves Intense Pulsed Laser (IPL) treatment and low-level light therapy to help stimulate the oil-producing glands,” she added. 

Practical Tips:

  • For every 20 minutes you’re on the computer, you should take at least a 20-second break, looking 20 feet into the distance. We tend to blink less completely and less frequently when we concentrate, and blinking is critical in spreading tears across the front surface of our eyes and in releasing the oils required in our tears. 
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes not just from the sun but also from drying out (which turns into weepy eyes) and any irritants. 

Please call the practice to make an appointment today and you can find out more about the Tear Clinic here.

Pictured top and below is the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Sharon Michael, visiting the Tear Clinic and being assessed by optometrist Jessica MacIsaac.  

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