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Dry Eye and Menopause: What’s the Link?

During menopause, have you noticed that you’re struggling more with your vision or experiencing a lot of discomfort around your eyes? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. In fact, there’s a link between menopause and Dry Eye disease.

Some studies suggest that around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye syndrome [1] , while a survey of 6,000 women revealed that one in four women said they experienced dry eyes, making it the second most common hidden menopause symptom. [2]

 

Woman with dry eye drinking water

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye syndrome is an extremely common eye condition affecting one in four people in the UK. [3] When your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes, you may notice inflammation in the eye which is related to a wide range of symptoms. You may experience red eyes, itching, a burning sensation, sensitivity to light, and even fatigue. Symptoms are wide-ranging, so if you’re experiencing discomfort and irritation in your eyes, it may be Dry Eye. [4]

 

Why Dry Eye?

There are several reasons you might start to show symptoms of Dry Eye disease. From smoking to aging, there are a lot of factors to consider but one you may not have thought about is your hormone levels.

During menopause your androgen hormones (which include testosterone) decrease. This hormone change affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids that provide the essential oils for tears. Tears moisten the eyes so you will see increased tear evaporation and drier eyes as a result.

Recent research shows that testosterone helps to manage the balance of tear production which you need to lubricate your eye. Without enough tear film, you may end up feeling an itchy, gritty, or stinging sensation – otherwise known as Dry Eye.

There is also some evidence that estrogen levels changing during this phase can also lead to Dry Eye disease. More research needs to be done to solidify this link but it would explain the increase in Dry Eye symptoms at different points of a woman’s monthly fertility cycle. [5]

One thing that’s clear, however, is that dry eyes can be a result of a sex hormone deficiency, meaning it’s a common side effect of menopause, when your hormone levels will drop.

 

couple laughing together

Is Dry Eye Disease a Common Menopause Symptom?

That gritty feeling in your eyes might make you feel like you’re all alone but don’t worry. Many people deal with Dry Eye disease every day and during menopause, it’s a very common symptom.

Menopausal symptoms vary depending on the person and their age, so you could end up facing very different symptoms and experiences from your friends. However, if you are noticing redder eyes, blurred vision, and excessive tearing then you might be dealing with hormonally-induced Dry Eye disease.

 

How do Hormones Play a Role?

During perimenopause and menopause, there’s a variety of changes in hormones that can be related to dry eye symptoms. We see a decrease in both estrogen and testosterone. Sex hormones are incredibly important to keep the ocular surface of the eye stable, which means they’ll affect producing tears, evaporating tears, draining tears, maintaining nerves behind the cornea, and maintaining the immune system of the eye. When it comes to Dry Eye the ability to keep the eyes moist (usually by tears) plays a large role. When the eyelid becomes dry and irritated , it causes pain, a burning sensation, and red eyes. [6]

During perimenopause, your sex hormone levels begin to drop and eventually, you’ll find you no longer have periods (the process we call the menopause).

After this your body entirely stops making progesterone and the production of estrogen and androgens decreases at a quicker rate, which is why we see the onset of these symptoms around this period of a woman’s life. [7]

 

Higher Risk Factors

One thing of note is that women who experience premature or early menopause (when the final menstrual period happens before the age of forty) are more at risk for androgen deficiency. [8]

Additionally, it may be worth considering the increased risk factor if you’ve been on estrogen tablets or the pill, have had surgical removal of the ovaries, or have suffered from an eating disorder that’s placed stress on the body. You can get tested for this deficiency, however, due to the levels naturally being so low in women, it’s difficult to do so.

If you’re looking into testing your levels to work out the cause of your Dry Eye disease then make sure you get your blood taken in the morning when testosterone levels are at their highest.

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Dry Eye Disease

Most doctors would recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for alleviating particularly troublesome symptoms of menopause. Traditionally HRT replaces estrogen and progesterone which will fall during this period of a woman’s life. [9] However, HRT usually treats hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep issues rather than Dry Eye disease. You may be considering this treatment to soothe your dry eyes but unfortunately, research hasn’t yet proven the benefits of it.

While some studies show a small amount of improvement in the alleviation of symptoms, the largest cross-sectional study to date found that long-term use of HRT increases the risk of Dry Eye symptoms. Essentially the longer women stayed on hormone replacement therapy the worse and more frequent their Dry Eye symptoms became. [10]

So even if you were only experiencing mild Dry Eye symptoms during perimenopause, you may find that once you start treatment, you experience the onset of Dry Eye disease.

 

Woman rubbing her eyes

Treating Dry Eye During Menopause

With the effects of HRT in mind, it’s important to consider how your treatments of Dry Eye symptoms will impact your treatment of other menopausal symptoms, and visa versa. HRT can help alleviate some menopausal symptoms but research shows that the treatment can make Dry Eye Disease worse.

However, many usual recommendations for Dry Eye are lifestyle suggestions that may boost your overall health. Eating well, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep can all help battle that dry, itchy feeling while decreasing screen time can boost your mood as well!

If you’re usually a fan of contact lenses, make sure you’re also grabbing those glasses every now and then to give your eyes a break. Hydrating eye drops in the mornings and evening can help soothe your eyes, and make sure you’re limiting stress where you can. [11]

If your dry eyes are chronic or causing large problems in your life the VISUshop site has a wide range of products for treatment and prevention you can check out here .

 

For more information on Dry Eye and Menopause, take a look at our other blogs on the subject, and what you can do to alleviate your dry, itchy eyes.

 

References

  1. ‘What’s the Link between Dry Eye and Menopause?’ Dryeyecare.net, 08/04/21, Last Accessed January 2024
  2. ‘Dry Eyes and Menopause Demystified’, Balance by Newson Health, 24/06/23, Last Accessed January 2024
  3. ‘Dry Eye Syndrome’, Association of Optometrists, Last Accessed January 2024
  4. ‘Dry Eye Symptoms’, Dry Eye and Me, Last Accessed January 2024
  5. Lazarus, Russel, ‘Dry Eye and Menopause’, Optometrists.org, 09/09/2020, Last Accessed January 2024
  6. Millar, Helen, ‘Dry Eyes and Menopause: What to Know’, Medical News Today, 18/09/23, Last Accessed January 2024
  7. ‘The Link Between Menopause and Dry Eye’, Slingsby & Huot Eye Associates, Last Accessed January 2024
  8. ‘Androgen Deficiency in Women’, Better Health Channel, Last Accessed January 2024
  9. ‘About Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)’, NHS, Accessed January 2024
  10. Osborn, Corrinne, ‘Menopause and Dry Eyes: What’s the Link?’, Healthline, Last Accessed January 2024
  11. ‘Dry Eyes: The Unexpected Symptom of Perimenopause and Menopause’, The Latte Lounge, 26/09/22, Last Accessed January 2024
Back to news

Hay Fever Season: How to Fight Dry Eye When You Step Outside 

Hay Fever, dry eye disease, or something else entirely?

 

Are dry eyes ruining your morning run? Do you struggle on your commute? Scared to wear makeup now for fear of it streaming down your face by the time you step into the office? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – and this doesn’t need to be a constant battle. 

 

Dry Eye or hay fever?

 

Often, people find that dry eyes are worse in the morning or before they go to bed. The first step to tackling your health problems is to work out its root cause. It could be dry eye disease causing your troubles, or it could be hay fever and allergy symptoms. 

 

Hay fever and seasonal allergies affect everyone in different ways. When hay fever season starts up (usually late March to September) you’ll see the symptoms worsening. From sneezing fits, to a runny nose and dry itchy eyes, hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen which is a common pollutant in the air. There is no current cure for hay fever, but you can take a medication called antihistamines to lessen its effect. [1]  

 

Field with butterflies

 

Some people do experience hay fever in the winter. This can be due to a number of reasons like living in a warmer climate where plants may not go dormant and therefore release pollen all year long. If you suffer from Allergic Rhinitis (which pollen is the most common cause of) you can also experience similar hay fever symptoms due to mould, pet dander, and even dust mites – all of which may feel worse due to being indoors more! Often people will mistake this for a common cold, but if you’re feeling itchy, think hay fever. If you’re feeling achy, think cold. 

 

It can be really tricky to work out if your symptoms are caused by dry eye disease or hay fever, but there are some key distinctions. If your dry eye symptoms improve in autumn and winter, it’s likely caused by a pollen allergy, rather than dry eye disease. Additionally, if you’ve also experienced cold-like symptoms such as a dry throat and runny nose, and you’re not experiencing a sensitivity to light or a gritty feeling in your eyes, it’s more likely to be hay fever and allergy symptoms. [2] 

 

Other conditions that could be causing your dry eye

 

If your dry eye symptoms hit before you’ve even had a chance to take a step out of the door though, then it’s time to consider other possible causes. Nocturnal Lagophthalmos can make it difficult to close your eye completely at night, leading to air exposure which worsens dry eye symptoms in the morning. [3] This condition has to be treated properly or it can lead to impaired vision. [4] 

 

Another possible explanation for painful, inflamed eyes in the morning is Blepharitis which is an inflammation along the edges of the eyelid. You may find your eyelids are crusty and itchy when you wake up, and you can even have issues opening your eyes. [5]

 

 

Other possible explanations for your dry eyes in the mornings

You may even find that certain medications that you take at bedtime can cause dry eye symptoms in the morning. Even antihistamines that you may take to lessen the symptoms of hay fever during the day can cause eyes to feel dry in the morning. [6]

 

Sleeping with air conditioning and heating units can also affect the way your eyes feel and your dry eye symptoms in the morning, as can your environment. [7] This can be a simple fix that will go a long way to improving your life. 

 

Many factors can cause dry, itchy, and even sore eyes when you wake up. Hormonal fluctuations and age can also contribute, so if you’ve noticed that you’re tearing up in the mornings more often as you approach your 60s, you’re not alone and you don’t need to worry. 

 

Luckily, many of the treatments for dry eye syndrome can soothe these symptoms and leave you feeling ready to start your day. 

 

Treating Dry Eye in the mornings 

 

If your symptoms most closely match dry eye and they worsen in the mornings then there are ways you can take action and treat it. Create a morning and evening routine that will help rather than harm. The hot air from hair dryers can worsen eye dryness so towel dry your hair instead. Use eye drops before bed to moisten your eyes. You can even wash your eyelids and use a warm compress if you’re looking to soothe chronic dry eye symptoms. [8]

 

Take a look at our 10 Tips To Ease Dry Eye at Night blog, as many of these tips will relieve symptoms the morning after as well. [9] 

 

Whether it’s hay fever and seasonal allergies, or dry eye disease, eye drops can definitely help you feel a little brighter and soothe painful, itchy eyes. VisuXL® Gel eye drops can lubricate your eyes for up to twelve hours using a thicker moisture barrier. Use them day and night! 

 

 

The best way to fight dry eyes when you step outside is good preparation. That includes working out what’s causing your irritation so you best know how to tackle it. To fight dry eyes in the morning a great routine for the morning and night will help relieve symptoms, as well as to make sure you’re supporting your overall eye health. Follow these tips for the hay fever season and beyond to feel ready to take on the day without dry eye disease bringing you down. 

 

We hope this article has answered your Dry Eye questions. However, if not please reach out to us on our socials, join our community on Facebook and Instagram, and discover more advice to help your eyes.

 

References

  1. NHS Inform, “Hay fever.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  2. NI Direct, “Hay fever”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  3. Lazarus, Russel. “Why is Dry Eye Worse in the Mornings?” Optometrists.org, Last Accessed November 2023.
  4. Eye Clinic London, “Waking Up With Dry Eyes: Causes & Treatment.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  5. Mayo Clinic, “Blepharitis – Symptoms & Causes.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  6. Professional Vision | Ellicott City Eye Doctors, Eye Exam, Eyewear, “Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  7. A. Vogel, “3 Reasons you have Dry Eyes in the Morning.” Last Accessed November 2023.
  8. Griff, Ann Marie, “9 Tips for Your Daily Routine with Chronic Dry Eye”, Healthline, Last Accessed November 2023.
  9. Wang, Michael TM. “10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night.” Dry Eye And Me, Last Accessed 6 November 2023.
Back to news

Dry Eye and Sjögren’s Syndrome

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
Back to news

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos and Dry Eye

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
Back to news

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
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Blepharitis and Dry Eye

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
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3-Step Treatment Plan for Dry Eyes

A three-step treatment plan is one of the most effective ways to treat dry eyes. By following these three simple steps, you could reduce your symptoms significantly.

 

Woman with Eye Mask

Step 1: Use a warm compress

Begin by using a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch®, over your eyes. Lay this over your upper face so that it covers the bridge of your nose, upper and lower eyelids.

You should keep this mask on for seven to 10 minutes, during which time it will gently release warmth which can fluidise secretions that may have blocked the meibomian glands.

After you remove the mask, you should give your dry eyes a gentle eyelid massage to help release the oils from the glands.

Always keep your eyes closed when using a warm compress, and we recommend buying a new MeiboPatch® every 1-2 months, to make sure hygiene measures are followed.[1]

To find out more about our MeiboPatch®, click here: MeiboPatch®

 

Woman Wiping Eye

Step 2: Wipe your dry eyes

Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil from your meibomian glands, as well as any built-up debris. You should do this with a cleanser like Naviblef®.

Close your dry eyes and massage your eyelids and eyelashes with the foam, then leave it there for around 60-80 seconds. Then, rinse your eyelashes and eyelids with warm water.

Discover more about Naviblef® here: Naviblef® [2]

 

Eye with Eye Drops

Step 3: Lubricate your dry eyes

Use an effective lubricant like any drop from our VISUfamily range. Depending on your condition, you need to choose an eye drop that will work for you and ease your symptoms.

Find out more about what eye drop for dry eyes would be best for you here: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel For The Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

References

  1. MeiboPatch® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed February 2023.
  2. Naviblef® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed February 2023.
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How to Put in Eye Drops for Dry Eye

Whether you’re using eye drops for hay fever, conditions like styes, or Dry Eye Disease, we’re here for you. Read on to find out our tips on how to put in eye drops for Dry Eye.

 

How to put in eye drops: Step-by-step instructions

Before you put your eye drops in, make sure that your hands are nice and clean. Additionally, have tissues nearby to wipe away any excess tears or drops that might occur.[1]

 

Step 1: Prepare

Wash your hands and make sure that you have everything you need around you.

 

Step 2: Tilt your head

Sit up and look up, or lay down if this is easier. 

 

Step 3: Pull down your eyelid

Pull your eyelid down and away from your eyeball, making a pocket for your drops.

 

Step 4: Squeeze the bottle

Put the prescribed number of drops into your eye, or the number of drops suggested on the bottle or instructions for use. You may have to squeeze or use a pump action to administer the drops.

 

Step 5: Close your eyes

Close your eye for at least one minute and hold your finger over your tear duct (the small hole in the corner of your eye).

 

Make sure that you always close the eye drop container after use.[2] If you use more than one type of eye medication, wait at least five minutes between using each type.[3]

 

Woman puts eye drops into her eyes

 

Should you blink after putting eye drops in?

This often depends on doctor’s advice. However, Dan T. Gudgel of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that you should not blink. Instead, close your eyes for at least one minute.[4]

 

How long should you close your eyes after eye drops?

You should close your eyes for a minimum of one minute, to allow the drops to soak into your eyes and prevent them from soaking into your nose.[3]

 

How many times a day can you use eye drops?

The number of times a day you should use eye drops varies depending on the type of eye drop you choose. VisuXL® eye drops only need to be used two times a day, making them a solution that can become part of your daily routine.[2]  

 

Man putting eye drops into eye

 

How far away do you hold eye drops?

You should put eye drops within one inch of your eye, when you are applying them.[5] This allows you to aim better into the pocket that you have created.

 

How should I store eye drops?

Eye drops need to be stored effectively to prevent being spoiled. Bottles usually need to be kept in a cool, dry place, unless otherwise stated on the instructions for use.[6]

 

Best eye drops for dry eyes

We offer a vast range of eye drops for dry eyes, so that you can be prepared. From VisuXL® Gel to Xailin® Tears, we have everything you could need.

Our latest blog helps you to identify which Dry Eye products would suit your needs, based on your symptoms. For more information on eye gels and eye drops for dry eyes, visit this blog: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for Dry Eyes

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

References

  1. Healthline. ‘How to Use Eye Drops’. Accessed January 2023.
  2. VisuXL® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed January 2023.
  3. National Eye Institute. ‘How to Put in Eye Drops’, 23/07/21. Accessed January 2023.
  4. Dan T. Gudgel. ‘How to Put in Eye Drops’, American Academy of Ophthamology, 10/03/21. Accessed January 2023.
  5. WebMD. ‘How to Insert Eye Drops’, 21/08/22. Accessed January 2023.
  6. Dr.Manoj Rai Mehta. ‘How to Safely Store Eye Drop Dispensers at Home or Office’,Practo, 06/04/17. Accessed January 2023.
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Can the Environment Cause Dry Eyes?

You may have noticed that the change of seasons or new surroundings has suddenly worsened your Dry Eye symptoms. This is because your environment can trigger Dry Eye syndrome, with factors like the weather, climate, and air quality all contributing. Let’s explore some of the specific environmental factors to bear in mind when trying to improve your condition. 

 

Frost on grass

Can the time of year impact dry eyes?

Changes to the air temperature, humidity, and air quality come with the changing seasons. So it’s only natural that throughout certain seasons your eyes may become more irritated and dry. Spring can bring about seasonal allergies such as hay fever when allergens in the air are more prominent. When the pollen count is high, many Dry Eye sufferers will find that their symptoms worsen. However, we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor if this is the case, as often over-the-counter medication such as antihistamines can make Dry Eye symptoms worse as a side effect. 

In addition to this, colder months throughout winter can irritate dry eyes the most when compared to the other seasons. This is because of the cold air outside, combined with indoor heating making a very dry environment. Indoor humidifiers are a good way to try and keep more moisture in your air at home and help to improve your symptoms.[1]

 

Waterfall surrounded by greenery

What climate is best for dry eyes?

Hot, dry air can cause moisture from your eyes to evaporate quickly, yet as we’ve discussed already, colder weather can trigger dry eye syndrome too.  The key is to find a climate that’s not too hot, or too cold. Many researchers have seen a dip in Dry Eye throughout the summer months due to the humid air and warmer temperatures.[1] Therefore, a warm environment with plenty of moisture and humidity in the air is the ideal climate for Dry Eye sufferers.[2] So pack your bags and book that plane ticket, because now you have the perfect excuse to go on holiday!

The impact of living in the city on dry eyes

While living and working in the city can be fun and energising, it can also take a toll on your eyes. Let’s look at some of the common causes of Dry Eye Syndrome in the city.

 

London road with busy traffic

Air pollution

Our eyes are exposed to everything in the air surrounding us, whether that’s fresh air from the countryside, smoke from a fire, or pollution from traffic in the city. When exposed to pollution, small particles of dust and smoke can become stuck in your tear film. This means that you’re not able to produce as many tears to keep your eyes lubricated and moist, which often results in dry, irritated eyes. You can help to ease these symptoms by using umbrellas to shield your face against smog and dust, as well as wrap-around sunglasses to stop these things from going in your eyes. [3]

 

Laptop on a desk, statistics on the screen

Screen time 

When working in cities, it’s often the norm to have a standard 9-5 office job, where you spend most of your day behind a computer screen. In addition to this, many who live in the city rely on public transport such as trains, trams or buses to get to and from work every day. During this commute, the majority of people will be on their phones. Increased screen time can result in a condition called Digital Eye Strain, or Computer Eye Syndrome. It’s a common condition that affects many office workers, yet only 1 in 5 people are aware of having it.[3] Trying to reduce your screen time is the best way to reduce the symptoms of Digital Eye Strain and keep your monitor at eye level when working. 

How to alleviate Dry Eye symptoms

While there is no permanent cure for Dry Eye Syndrome, there are some simple steps you can take to help alleviate your symptoms. 

 

Orange sliced open

Eat more vitamins

Monitoring your diet and increasing the amount of specific vitamins you eat can be useful in reducing dry eyes. Here is a list of the best vitamins for the eyes. 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin C
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin [4]

wraparound sunglasses for dry eye laid on a hat

Wear wrap-around sunglasses

Wearing special wrap-around glasses for dry eyes is a great way to ensure your eyes stay protected from harsh winds, cold air, dust, and debris. These glasses also often feature special lenses which act as a barrier between your eyes and the environment – including allergens like pollen. This makes them a great choice for hay fever sufferers, as the condition can make Dry Eye symptoms worse.[5] 

 

Hands type on a laptop keyboard

Take a break from screen time

As we’ve previously mentioned, screen time is one of the biggest causes of Dry Eye Syndrome. Reducing your screen time where possible will help to relieve your symptoms. Even if you work behind a computer, taking regular breaks from looking at the screen is important. We like to follow the 20/20/20 rule, which is a simple lifestyle change to help remind you to take a break from your screen. The rule is that every 20 minutes, you should look at something which is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds or more. This can be applied when working or watching TV, and numerous studies have found that it’s successful in alleviating Dry Eye symptoms as a result of too much screen time.[6]

For more information on Computer Vision Syndrome, read our blog.

 

Close up of brown eye

Use VisuXL Gel® 

While these lifestyle changes can help to relieve your symptoms of Dry Eye, the best way to feel fully comfortable is to use over-the-counter medications.  VisuXL Gel® provides 12-hour protection with just one drop and works by increasing the moisture in your eyes to form a protective cushion around them.[7]

To find out more about VisuXL® Gel visit our VISUfarma shop.

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

References

  1. Complete Eye Care of Medina, ‘Which season has the greatest impact on dry eyes’. Accessed December 2022.
  2. Seltman, Whitney, ‘Climate, Environment and Dry Eye’ WebMD, 21/06/21. Accessed December 2022.
  3. London Vision Clinic, ‘The effect on your eyes working in the city (London)’ 6/11/15. Accessed December 2022.
  4. Capogna, Laurie, Eye Wellness, ‘The Best Supplements for Dry Eye’ 13/07/21. Accessed December 2022.
  5. Specsavers, ‘Dry Eyes and Glasses Explained’. Accessed December 2022.
  6. Reddy, S. C., Low, C., Lim, Y., Low, L., Mardina, F. and Nursaleha, M. (2013) “Computer vision syndrome: a study of knowledge and practices in university students”, Nepalese Journal of Ophthalmology. Accessed December 2022.
  7. VisuXL Gel Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed December 2022.
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