Tear Clinic - Cameron Optometry | Cameron Optometry

The Tear Clinic

Ocular surface disease (dry eye disease)

Our tears, and the film they form over our eyes, serve a very important function in keeping our eyes comfortable, healthy and able to see well. It’s only when we don’t have enough tears or they are of poor quality that the surface of our eye becomes exposed and become uncomfortable.

Tear film problems are often referred to as ‘dry eye disease’. This is sometimes a confusing name as ‘dry’ eyes can often be quite watery, so a more appropriate name is ocular surface disease.

Ocular surface disease occurs when we either have too few tears or, more commonly, when we have enough tears but they are of poor quality.

Ocular surface disease is often linked to blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids and the glands that produce the lipid layer of the tear film.

How would I know if I had ocular surface (dry eye) disease?

This can feel different for everyone but the common symptoms are:

  • dry, tired feeling eyes
  • stinging, burning or gritty sensation
  • red eyes
  • blurry vision that can be variable through the day and when we blink
  • not producing enough tears or having excessively watery eyes.

What are the causes of ocular surface (dry eye) disease?

There are many causes which include:

  • advancing age
  • hormone changes
  • laser eye surgery
  • medications including antihistamines and beta blockers
  • smoking
  • contact lens wear
  • spending time in a dry environment
  • allergies
  • blepharitis of which there are a variety of types including demodex blepharitis
  • general health conditions such as thyroid eye disease, arthritis and Sjӧgren’s syndrome.

How is ocular surface disease managed?

The route to managing dry eyes properly is to have consultation that diagnoses the type of dry eye you have. Understanding this allows us to develop a tailored management plan for you. This diagnosis requires expertise and specialist equipment that GPs and pharmacists don’t have and can only be done properly at an optometrist or hospital eye service.

At the Tear Clinic

At Cameron Optometry, we have specialist experience in treating ‘dry’ eyes. We see many patients who have suffered with the effects of dry eye for many years and who have tried and failed to relieve their symptoms. We have a specialist Tear Clinic, where we provide ongoing treatment to patients with this uncomfortable condition. Using the many treatments at our disposal, we work hard to find the most suitable management plan for each individual who seeks our advice.

What do we do at The Tear Clinic?

  1. Discuss your symptoms with you and complete a questionnaire to allow us to grade your condition and monitor your progress with treatment.
  2. Assess both the amount of tears you produce and the quality of the tears using cutting edge technology.
  3. Assess the eyelids, including looking for signs of eyelid problems.
  4. Make a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
  5. Review you at an appropriate schedule to monitor progress with treatment.

What treatments do we offer?

We have a wide range of treatments available depending on your case. They include:

  1. Lifestyle advice
  2. Dietary modifications
  3. Eyelid hygiene treatment with heat packs, deep lid cleans and bleph ex treatment
  4. Artificial tear drops
  5. Prescription only medications
  6. Moisture chamber goggles
  7. Punctal occlusion (plugs)
  8. Lacrimal syringing
  9. Treatment for demodex blepharitis
  10. Specialist contact lenses

How many appointments will I require?

  1. An initial appointment with our optometrists to diagnose and make a treatment plan and with our technician to ensure you feel confident to carry out your treatment at home.
  2. A review phone call after two weeks.
  3. A review appointment usually within three months.
  4. Dry eye is are often a chronic condition which can take time to recover and may require long term maintenance so many people will need ongoing review on a three to six-month basis. This will be discussed with you at your first visit and when making your treatment plan.

Pricing

In Scotland the NHS eye examination covers a basic first line dry eye assessment but where this is ineffective, specialist assessment and treatment must be paid for privately.

The initial consultation is £150 and takes about an hour. Depending on your recommended treatment plan, you can then either choose to pay each time you visit, or alternatively due to the ongoing nature of dry eye problems, many choose to join our Vision+ care plan. Vision+ is the best way to ensure optimum care for your eyes and for us to be able to review your eyes appropriately ensuring the best results.

Vision+ for dry eyes costs £16 per month and includes:

  • All appointment fees 
  • Unlimited appointments with your optometrist at the dry eye clinic
  • Unlimited appointments with the dry eye technician
  • Unlimited deep cleans of the eyelids and lashes
  • Unlimited scans and imaging of your eyes
  • Discounted prices on eye drops and cleaning products
  • All the other benefits of Vision+ including discounted prices on contact lenses and 25% of spectacle lenses and frames.
  • **Punctal plugs are not included but are provided and fitted on a three monthly on-going basis. The cost of Vision+ for dry eyes including punctal plugs is £30 per month. 

For those who opt out of Vision+, any subsequent follow up appointments would be charged at £55 per visit.

Three monthly replacements of punctal plugs costs £95 per visit including the replacement plugs.

How to make an appointment

To make an initial appointment please contact the practice on 0131 225 2235 or e-mail on thetearclinic@cameronoptom.com.