Welcome to our knowledge centre.

Here you'll find a lot of answers to questions that are asked about your eyes, eye conditions and much more, but if you can't find the answer here please feel free to call us on 0151 280 7777 or send an e mail to us at smithdowneyecare@hotmail.co.uk or just call in to the shop for a chat!

What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis refers to inflammation of the eyelids. Oils and other products normally secreted by the eye and eyelids build up on the lid surface and eyelashes resulting in eye irritation and often redness. It’s a common disorder and occurs in two forms:
  • Anterior Blepharitis - this is when the inflammation affects the outside front edge of your eyelids, where your eyelashes are connected. Two possible causes are bacterial infection and dermatitis.
  • Posterior Blepharitis - this is when the inflammation affects the inside front edge of your eyelids, where they come into contact with your eye. This is caused when something affects the glands that are found at the rim of your eyelids, for example skin conditions such as dermatitis or acne rosacea.
Signs & Symptoms
Regardless of which type of blepharitis you have, you will probably experience such symptoms as eye irritation, burning, tearing, foreign body sensations, crusty debris (in the lashes, in the corner of the eyes or on the lids), dryness and red eyelid margins.
How can eyelid hygiene help?
Developing a regular routine of eye hygiene is essential in the treatment of blepharitis as it tends to recur and rarely disappears completely. It is important that you clean your eyelids every day, whether or not you are experiencing any symptoms. You should consider it part of your daily routine, like showering or brushing your teeth. Daily eyelid care helps prevent the build up of oils and crusted matter around the eyelid and lash area.
Treatment depends on the type of blepharitis you have. Visit our specialist dry eye clinic for more information. Your treatment may include applying warm compresses to the eyelids, cleansing them, using an antibiotic and massaging the lids. If your blepharitis makes your eyes feel dry (usually because your tears evaporate more quickly) you may be recommended to use a dry eye treatment as well. The warm compresses are designed to both loosen crusts on your eyes before you cleanse them and make the tear secretions more liquid and less greasy.

What is digital eye fatigue?
Smartphones, computer screens, eBook readers, smartwatches. On average, people own 4 digital devices and spend 60 hours a week accessing content on them.
The prolonged, everyday use can lead to digital eye fatigue, the ocular discomfort and visual disturbance that occur after 2 or more hours of digital device use. The most common and bothersome symptoms of digital eye fatigue are tiredness and dryness.Nearly 70% of adults report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Adults in their 20s are the hardest hit, with 73% of them reporting symptoms.
Tiredness and dryness
Although the number of hours a person spends using digital devices certainly plays a role (30% of adults spend more than 9 hours a day using digital devices!), the types of screens and switching among devices may also pose problems for many users. For instance, reflections and glare may cause users to squint or partially close their eyes to reduce the discomfort.
Glare, reflections, and luminance variations lead to blinking issues that ultimately contribute to tear instability and dry eyes. Evidence shows that concentrated computer screen use results in reduced blink rates, disrupting the normal distribution of tears and increasing corneal exposure.
But it’s not just the number of blinks that matter. The completeness of those blinks also affects tear stability. Inadequate blinking not only fails to coat the ocular surface sufficiently, but it may also reduce visual acuity and cause blurred vision.
Contact lens wearers feel this dryness more acutely than spectacle wearers. Up to 85% of contact lens wearers using digital devices experience at least one dryness-related symptom, compared with 71% of non-wearers.
Because 90% of patients don’t talk about the ocular discomfort they experience from using digital devices, many may assume that nothing can be done about it.
What types of digital devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) do you use?
How many hours a day do you use your digital devices?
How do your eyes feel after looking at digital devices for long periods of time or after a long day of using digital devices?
Some relief can be gained by blinking more frequently, taking regular short breaks from the digital screen to look at distance objects (the 20/20/20 rule), increasing the size of digital text, or adjusting the distance from their workstation. However, this seems to have limited success.
The better option is to book an appointment with us and we can discuss all the options available to you such as filters, computer specs, anti-fatigue lenses or contact lens updates.