Dry Eye Care
A sight for sore eyes
Dry, sore or itchy eyes? Your Amcal pharmacist can help find the right treatment for you.
Dry eyes may sound like a minor complaint, but for Australians who experience it at some stage of their lives, it can be a persistent and annoying chronic condition that can impact your day-to-day activities.
Your Amcal pharmacist can help you choose the right products to relieve dry eye symptoms, and can ensure you get the most out of your treatment with expert advice.
Blink and you'll miss it!
Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye, is a common eye condition, estimated to affect nearly two million Australians.1,2
The surface of your eyes is lubricated by tears which contain the right balance of ingredients to lubricate and protect the eye. Every time you blink, a thin layer of tears sweeps over them. Tears help to maintain eye comfort and health.
Dry eye is a common condition but has no cure. If left untreated, the resulting dryness can cause damage to the eye over time. The good news is there are many treatments available that mimic natural tears and relieve the symptoms of dry eye, and your Amcal pharmacist is here to help find the right treatment for you.
Speak to your friendly Amcal pharmacy team for expert advice on the right products to relieve your dry eye symptoms.
Take a closer look at dry eyes
The eyes produce tears to keep the eyeball constantly lubricated and covered with a tear film. These tears consist of water, protein, oil, electrolytes, antibacterial agents and other ingredients to keep the eye smooth and clear, and free from infections.
Dry eyes and blurry vision can be caused by several factors:
- Excessive screen time (and not blinking enough)
- Dehydration and decreased tear production
- Tears drying too quickly due to insufficient oil or Vitamin A
- Some medications. Ask your Amcal pharmacist if yourmedications might be causing you to have dry eye.
- Environmental factors such as smoking, dust or chemicals
- Underlying medical conditions such as autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid disease
Amcal’s vision for great eye care
Tips and tricks to keep your eyes healthy
- Take regular breaks from digital screens
- Quit smoking or vaping
- Drink plenty of water to keep your eyes hydrated
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet including foods containing omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. fish, chia seeds) and vitamin A (e.g. sweet potato, carrots), which play a crucial role in vision
- Apply a warm compress/eye mask+Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
- See an optometrist at least once a year
What products should I use to help alleviate dry eye?
Do you find yourself looking in the eye care section, up to your eyeballs at the range of products? We completely understand as there are so many products out there.
Things to consider when looking for eye care products:
- Choice of lubricant
- Medicated or unmedicated
- Preservative or preservative-free
- Single or multi-dose
- Drops or ointments
- Contact lens friendly
- Other eye care products like washes and wipes
Rubbing your eyes won’t improve them
With Australia’s evolving changes in lifestyle, work and school balance, and more time spent on screens rather than outdoors, we are experiencing more eye complaints as a result.
Screen fatigue and digital eye strain contribute more to dry eye syndrome than all the environmental factors combined.
Your Amcal pharmacy will suggest the 20:20:20 rule for screen use, whereby you take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at a distant object that is a minimum of 20 feet (six metres) away.
This helps the eye to relax and focus as well as encourages tear production by blinking regularly.
Remember to take breaks to blink!
Dry, sore or itchy eyes? Talk to your Amcal pharmacist to find the right treatment for you
Dry eye treatments at Amcal
With emerging trends and changes in lifestyle, from working from home to more screen time and even face mask-associated dry eye, we’re seeing more eye conditions presented at our over 200 Amcal pharmacies across Australia.
Our expert team at Amcal can help suggest the most appropriate lubricating eye drops and also recommend ways of maintaining overall eye health with medicated foam or wipes, warm compresses, eye masks and a review of your medications which may be contributing to dry eye syndrome.
Visit your local Amcal today for expert advice on eye care.
Your Amcal pharmacist can recommend the latest in dry eye treatments
From instantly hydrating and lubricating eyedrops for aqueous dry eye, to more viscous gels and ointments for overnight use or for prolonged hydration, your Amcal pharmacist can advise on the best treatment options.
Some popular eye drops include:
- Preservative-free, individual use artificial tear drops
- Omega-3 (non-animal derived) enriched eye drops for evaporative dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction
- Hyaluronic acid-enriched drops
- Eye lid wipes containing soothing tea tree oil, chamomile, and aloe verato remove debris
- Heated reusable eye masks which restore moisture to the eyes and improve the quality of tears
- Products that temporarily replace tears and restore the lipid layer of the eye
- Aloe vera, chamomile, and vitamin A-enricheddrops and eye ointments
You can always discuss your eye health and any concerns with your friendly Amcal pharmacist. They may refer you to your optometrist or GP to ensure you are getting the best healthcare advice for your eyes. For help with eye care, speak to your Amcal pharmacist.
Frequently asked questions
Your dry eye treatment will depend on the underlying cause, but your Amcal pharmacist can help you choose the right products to relieve dry eye symptoms, and ensure you get the most out of your treatment with expert advice.
Your Amcal pharmacist can recommend some products such as artificial tears which increase moisture in your eyes, increase the oily layer of the tear film and help relieve symptoms of dry eyes.
Other remedies include eating more fish or taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, using a humidifier and air filter to help keep air moist and clean, avoiding smoking or vaping which may irritate the eyes, blinking more often, and taking frequent computer breaks.
In severe cases, your doctor may suggest lacrimal plugs which are used to prevent excessive loss of tears by plugging tear ducts. In extreme cases, surgery may be considered where drainage holes in the corner of the eyes are permanently plugged so the eyes can maintain adequate tear flow.
Dry eye can be a result of many causes and one of them may be the medicines you are taking. Medications can worsen a dry eye in many ways, from reducing the amount of tears produced or changing the mix of ingredients in them. Your Amcal pharmacist can help identify which medications may aggravate your dry eye. Some include over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, antidepressants, blood pressure medication, some oral acne treatments as well as hormonal and steroidal treatments.
When the condition is unilateral (affects only one eye), photophobic (sensitive to light), or you experience vision changes or eye pain, your Amcal pharmacist will help you with a referral.
Speak to your friendly Amcal pharmacy team for expert advice on the right products or advice to relieve your dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome was once considered the domain of the elderly, but with recent changes in lifestyle, spending more time indoors and on screens, this condition is now prevalent amongst a broad range of age groups. Other contributing factors for the rate increase include medication side effects, gland dysfunction, allergies, dietary deficiencies, and even poor hygiene, as well as face mask-wearing forcing air towards the eye and drying the tear film quicker than normal. Your Amcal pharmacy can offer lifestyle tips and product selections to help manage symptoms before they get worse.
You can always discuss your eye health and any concerns with your friendly Amcal pharmacist. They may refer you to your optometrist or GP to ensure you are getting the best health care advice for your eyes.
If you experience specific symptoms including eye dryness, grittiness, soreness, watering, or burning, your Amcal pharmacist may refer you for an eye examination where the surface of the eye is inspected using a dye or stain to highlight dry and damaged areas while viewing through a slit lamp. An exam will then check for a meibomian gland dysfunction and check the consistency of tear secretions to help provide the best eye care recommendations for you.
Just ask Amcal
So how do you choose?
That’s where we come in. With a few questions, we can help you find the best product for your symptoms.
We can also ensure you get the most out of your treatment by advising on how to look after your eye care products.
Visit your local Amcal to find the right eye care treatment for you.
Australia’s largest pharmacy network and home to expert health advice and service.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/eye-health/eye-health/contents/how-common-is-visual-impairment
2. Australian Journal of Pharmacy 2016, https://ajp.com.au/features/dealing-dry-eyes/