Dry eye is a condition that occurs when there is inadequate tear production or when the tears evaporate too quickly. It can cause discomfort and irritation in the eyes, as well as blurred vision and light sensitivity. Blepharospasm, as a dystonia, is another condition associated with dry eye, and is often misdiagnosed as dry eye in the initial onset phase.
There are several causes of dry eye, including environmental factors such as air conditioning, air pollution and allergens, medical conditions such as Sjogren’s Syndrome or diabetes, medications that reduce tear production, and ageing. Lubricants are often used to help alleviate symptoms of dry eye. In more severe cases, health practitioners may recommend therapies such as punctal ( tear duct ) plugs, thermal light pulsation therapy, gland expression, or topical medications to reduce inflammation.
Any individual with Blepharospasm would be well recommended to use unpreserved ocular lubricants on a daily basis, and if those do not provide adequate relief, to undergo a dry eye assessment with a suitably qualified optometrist, as they might require adjunct therapies, which are very effective.
DRY EYE WEBINAR
[Webinars (web seminars) are video presentations, workshops, or lectures hosted online, usually via webinar software. These online events are usually interactive. The videos linked to here are all from the BEBRF. Please remember that they are from the US so some of the information given may not apply in Australia.]
Managing Dry Eye is a Youtube video offering practical applications for managing symptoms of dry eye.
You may also be interested in several other Youtube videos on managing BEB as organised by the BEBRF: Webinars
EYE DROPS AND GELS FOR DRY EYES
Many sufferers of BEB are initially diagnosed as having a dry eye condition. This in itself is usually correct but BEB is often not recognised or known about. Whilst we are aiming to address this knowledge gap, eye drops are still a useful treatment for the dry eye component although they won’t fix the blepharospasm.
There are many different brands of eye drops and gels available. Some drops also come in spray form. Eye drops and ointments can be broken down into two categories: over-the-counter eye drops and prescription eye drops.
Over-the-counter eye drops are appropriate in many cases, and can be cheaper and more convenient. But if symptoms worsen or persist, you should always visit your ophthalmologist to rule out any other eye disease, eye infection or condition.
Some drops contain preservatives so it is a good idea to speak to your doctor or pharmacist if this may be a problem for you. It’s best to avoid decongestant eye drops for dry eyes. You’ll recognize decongestant eye drops because they’re typically advertised as relief for red eyes. Decongestants make your eyes look less red, but they also can worsen dry eye symptoms in the long run. You should look for lubricating eye drops or gels.