What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye is a complex chronic progressive disease associated with inadequate tear production.

The function of tears is to keep the surface of the eye lubricated and wet, this is achieved each time you blink. A shortage of tears or reduction in tear quality can leave the front of the eye exposed to the air and drying occurs. This is known as dry eye.

The common symptoms you may experience with dry eye syndrome are;

  • A feeling of dryness
  • Burning, stinging or itching
  • Gritty feeling that worsens through the day
  • Irritation from wind or smoke
  • Blurred or smeary vision
  • Tired, red and / or sore eyes
  • Excessive watering
  • Light sensitivity
  • Contact lens discomfort

The symptoms are often worse first thing in the morning or later in the evening and can be exacerbated by driving, computer use and air conditioning or heating.

At Raxworthy Opticians we are experts at diagnosing and managing the range of diseases that cause dry eyes. Dry eye is a chronic eye problem and once you have dry eye the condition cannot be “cured”, however, with the correct treatment, the symptoms of dry eye can be confidently treated and managed.

We offer advice and relief for this very common eye problem. Our specialist optometrist Richard Taylor has a specialist interest in ocular therapeutics and has undergone extra training to help manage dry eye and can diagnose and treat the range of ocular conditions that result in your dry eye symptoms.

Following a comprehensive assessment of your tear profile and based on your symptoms and findings during your visit we develop a tailored management plan to treat and relieve your symptoms to help reduce the damage to your eyes caused by the condition.

There are a wide variety of reasons why you may suffer with dry eyes and these vary with each individual, they include;

  • Ageing – Dry eye is more prevalent in older people
  • Previous refractive (LASIK) surgery
  • Hormonal changes especially in women
  • Blepharitis or other medical conditions
  • Systemic conditions such as arthritis
  • Dry environments such as air conditioned offices
  • Prolonged computer use
  • Certain medications
  • Contact lenses and contact lens solutions
  • Certain preservatives found in some make-up
  • Diet

There are lots of reasons why your eyes can become dry and the aim of the clinic is to establish the main cause for your discomfort.

Dry eye can affect people of any age; however your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increases as you get older and occur more commonly in woman than men. Around 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience problems with dry eye.


The first thing we need to resolve dry eyes is to establish the cause. This is achieved through your comprehensive consultation.

Once the root cause of your dry eye is established, Richard can devise the most appropriate treatment and management plan based on your symptoms and clinical findings. He will give full instructions on how to move forward and review your progress at a follow-up appointment.

We will get your eyes back to a normal state, which may take some time but we are always here to help and we want to listen.

We use the latest techniques and equipment to treat the condition. We have access to hospital grade therapeutic eye drops and gels and are privileged to be the only place in Christchurch to have access to the new Bleph-Ex technology.