Dry Eye Treatment in Singapore
Suffering from dry eyes? You know how uncomfortable it can be. Your eyes may feel scratchy or irritated, and they may even water in an attempt to lubricate themselves. If you’re looking for relief, you may want to consult a dry eye specialist in Singapore.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye, also known as dry eye disease (DED), dry eye syndrome, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears produced are of poor quality. Tears play a crucial role in maintaining eye health by providing lubrication, nourishing the cornea, and protecting against external irritants. When the quantity or quality of tears is compromised, it can result in the discomfort associated with dry eyes.
If you think you may have dry eyes, schedule an appointment with our dry eye doctor in Singapore for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. That way, you can prevent complications that may result in your dry eyes, including eye infections, damage to the surface of your eyes, and decreased quality of life.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it’s essential that you visit a dry eye specialist in Singapore for a consultation:
- Gritty, irritated, scratchy or burning eyes
- Feeling like there’s something in the eyes
- Excess watering
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Stringy mucous near the eye
Causes of Dry Eyes
There are many possible causes of dry eye syndrome, but the most common one is simply not enough tears. Tears are important for keeping our eyes healthy and lubricated, so when you don’t have enough of them, your eyes can start to feel dry, irritated, and even painful.
Other causes of dry eyes include:
- Excess use of computers
- Medical conditions that can cause dry eyes, such as autoimmune conditions like SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), rheumatoid arthritis
- Environmental factors such as dry climates
- Sitting under an aircon vent
- Use of contact lenses
No matter the cause of your dry eye syndrome, the discomfort can disrupt your day-to-day activities. Therefore, visit an eye specialist clinic to have your dry eyes checked and treated by a specialist.
Dry Eye Diagnosis
To determine if you have dry eye syndrome, our dry eye specialist in Singapore will conduct a comprehensive eye check-up using a slit lamp to look at the tear layer in the eye (tear strip). This is done to see if there is enough water in the tears. Then, our doctor will apply yellow eye drops to see if the tear layer over the cornea is even and good. If needed, they can measure if there is enough water content in the tears via a Schirmer’s test. From the diagnosis, our eye specialist can determine what eye drops to use and what treatment is needed.
Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
Dry eye can be a very frustrating condition, but there are several treatments available for dry eye syndrome. By consulting a dry eye specialist, you can find the appropriate treatment to address your symptoms. The most common treatments include:
- Lubrication eye drops may be recommended to replace insufficient tears.
- You may also be prescribed eye drops that allow the production of more natural tears
- A thicker eye drop (a gel) can also be used for patients with dryer eyes. However, it can cause a little blurring.
Out of all the dry eye syndrome treatments, eye drops are tailor-made according to symptoms and severity.
Certain dietary supplements can contribute to the improvement of dry eye symptoms by supporting overall eye health. If eye drops are not effective, your doctor may prescribe or suggest dietary supplements for dry eye treatment, like omega-3 fatty acids.
If the condition is severe, punctal plugs are needed. A punctal plug, also known as a tear duct plug or lacrimal plug, is placed in the drainage tube, which lasts for six months and improves comfort and reduces the need for eye drops.
What Is the Right Dry Eye Treatment?
There is not a single treatment that will fit all types of dry eye conditions. The approach will depend on the underlying cause of your dry eye condition. However, there are some general treatments that can help manage the symptoms of dry eye, such as eye drops and dietary supplements. If your dry eye is due to a more serious condition, surgery may be needed to correct the problem.
Dry Eye Recovery
While the timeline for recovery can vary based on the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment, the following steps can help you manage and improve your dry eye symptoms:
Adhere to Your Treatment
Follow the treatment plan suggested by your dry eye specialist diligently. Whether it involves using lubricating eye drops, taking dietary supplements, or considering other interventions like punctal plugs, consistent adherence to the prescribed regimen is crucial to prevent further aggravation.
Regularly assess how your eyes are responding to treatment. If you notice improvements or any changes, discuss them with your eye doctor during follow-up appointments. Adjustments to your treatment plan may be necessary as your condition evolves.
Practise Good Eye Hygiene
Maintaining proper eye hygiene can aid in your recovery. This includes keeping your eyelids and lashes clean to prevent blockages in the oil glands. Follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for lid hygiene routines and consider using warm compresses to promote healthy tear production.
Make Lifestyle Adjustments
Make modifications to your environment and daily habits to minimise factors that exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, taking regular breaks during prolonged screen time, and wearing protective eyewear in windy or dry conditions.
Possible Risks and Side Effects of Dry Eye Treatment
While dry eye treatments are generally safe and effective, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and side effects that might arise during the course of your treatment. Make sure to ask your eye doctor about the risks and side effects of your treatment so that you can make a more informed decision about your eye health. Moreover, If you experience any unexpected or concerning symptoms during your treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance and reassessment.
About Dr Christopher Khng
Dr. Christopher Khng specialises in Complex Cataract and Anterior Segment Reconstruction Surgery, in particular, Iris Reconstruction and Surgery for Aniridia. His other areas of expertise include Complex Lens surgery, New Lens and Phacoemulsification technologies, Refractive surgery, Phakic IOLs (the Implantable Collamer Lens, ICL), and small-incision, topical anaesthesia phacoemulsification cataract surgery.
He completed his first two years of medical undergraduate studies at Aberdeen University, Scotland (UK). Because of cost, he completed his medical degree of MBBS at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Dr. Khng served as Registrar, then Associate Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). Following his stint in SNEC, Dr. Khng was a Consultant at The Eye Institute, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore.
Aside from being a cataract specialist, Dr. Khng has experience in managing patients’ dry eye syndrome conditions. Moreover, he has worked with a diverse range of patients, each presenting unique challenges related to their dry eye symptoms. From mild cases characterised by occasional discomfort to more severe instances causing significant irritation and visual disturbances, he has provided treatment plans to suit each individual’s needs.
Dr Christopher Khng
MBBS, M.Med(Ophth), FRCS(Edin), AMS(Ophth 2003) Consultant Ophthalmologist
Dry Eyes FAQs
Treatment for dry eyes or managing its symptoms will depend on its severity. One way to cure dry eyes is to use eye drops as suggested by your doctor in Singapore. However, the treatment for curing dry eyes, whether permanent or not, can only be determined by the dry eye specialist after proper examination.
An ophthalmologist is an eye specialist who can help diagnose and manage dry eyes. They can prescribe medication or treatment to help reduce the symptoms of dry eyes only after examining their condition. If you want to know how an ophthalmologist can help you, you can schedule a consultation at our eye care clinic.
If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to uncomfortable and potentially serious consequences. Insufficient tear production and poor tear quality can cause ongoing discomfort, irritation, and blurry vision. Prolonged dryness may even lead to infections and abrasions. Therefore, seeking timely treatment is essential to prevent these complications, ensure optimal eye health, and maintain clear vision and comfort.
To prevent dry eyes, consider adopting these practices:
- Blink Regularly: Practise conscious blinking, especially during screen use, to distribute tears evenly.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water to maintain overall hydration, which can help with tear production.
- Use a Humidifier: Keep indoor environments moist, especially during winter months or in air-conditioned spaces.
- Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Take breaks every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Protective Eyewear: Wear sunglasses outdoors to shield your eyes from wind, dust, and UV rays.
- Healthy Diet: Include omega-3 fatty acids and nutrient-rich foods that support eye health.
- Limit Screen Time: Reduce prolonged digital device use and maintain an ergonomic screen setup.
Scheduling an eye screening regularly at an eye clinic in Singapore can also help in improving your overall eye health.
Yes, chronic dry eyes can potentially lead to or exacerbate other eye conditions. It might contribute to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis) and conjunctiva (conjunctivitis). Furthermore, long-term dryness can cause damage to the surface of the eyes, potentially leading to corneal abrasions or ulcers. As such, addressing dry eyes promptly through proper treatment from an eye specialist in Singapore can help mitigate these risks and safeguard overall eye health.