Dry Eye

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 29 Apr 2021

Dry Eye

How common is dry eye?

Nearly 1.4 billion people worldwide have dry eye symptoms and 77% of Australians have suffered from dry eye.[1,2]

What makes up our tear film?

The tear film is comprised of two layers – an oily layer (lipid) on top and a watery layer (muco-aqueous) below. Depending on the layer of tear film affected, a patient may have evaporative dry eye (poor quality or not enough oil) or aqueous-deficient dry eye (not enough water) or mixed dry eye (not enough water and oil). Tears are important as they keep the front of the eye healthy and help to provide clear vision.[3] Tears also provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away dirt and debris in the eye and keep the surface of the eye smooth and clear.[3]

What are the symptoms of dry eye and what causes them?

Dry eye symptoms can include irritation, stinging, burning, grittiness, excessive tearing, blurriness and red eyes.[4,5]  The symptoms can be varied and inconsistent, and because there are so many symptoms, sufferers are often confused and not aware they are suffering from a dry eye condition.

Dry eye can be triggered by many other factors such as dry and windy environments, air conditioning, extended screen time, certain medications, health conditions and contact lenses.[4,5,6]  However dry eye is not necessarily caused by these triggers, but more importantly how these factors affect the tear film. i.e. air conditioning doesn’t cause dry eye, but air conditioning can make your tears evaporate faster, causing dry eye symptoms! Understanding these triggers can help identify people who may be suffering from dry eye symptoms without knowing it.

How can you alleviate symptoms of dry eye?

Managing dry eye symptoms may seem trivial but can have significant impact on the sufferers’ quality of life. Market research has shown that almost half of patients that suffer from dry eye symptoms report that their quality of life has been impacted affecting their work, activities at home, sleep, general health and social life.[7]

With over a third of Australians who have dry eye seeking to self-manage their symptoms, it is important to understand what makes one lubricating drop different from another, and which one should be recommended.[8]

Why Systane®?

Systane ® is the #1 Dry Eye Brand in Australia.[9] Systane® has a range of products to help with different types of dry eye, whether it be evaporative, aqueous-deficient or mixed type of dry eye. A technology unique to all Systane ® drops is called Intelligent Delivery System. This technology allows for increased retention of the soothing agents on the ocular surface resulting in prolonged dry eye relief.[10]

What’s new?

Systane ® ULTRA replenishes the watery layer of the tear film and helps relieve symptoms of aqueous-deficient dry eye. It has been available in two different formulations for a number of years on the Australian market – in a 10mL bottle containing the preservative POLYQUAD ® and in preservative-free vials. Exciting news is that the same fast-acting dry eye relief formulation is now available in a multi-dose preservative free bottle.

So for sufferers of dry eye symptoms who may or may not wear soft contact lenses, Systane ® ULTRA PRESERVATIVE-FREE bottle can be a great choice in providing fast-acting dry eye relief.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health care professional.

Visit your local Blooms The Chemist and speak to their pharmacy team for more information. Shop online here.


1. Alcon data on file. Market Scope 2020 Dry Eye Products Market Report: A Global Analysis for 2019 to 2025. Available on request (pp.34)
2. Optometry Australia, the 2020 Vision Index Report
3. Wilcox et al. TFOS DEWS II Tear Film Report The Ocular Surface 2017; 15(3): 366-403
4. National Eye Institute. Causes of Dry Eye. Available: Accessed: 15/07/2020

5. Association of Optometrists (UK). Eye Conditions: Dry Eye Syndrome. Available: Accessed: 15/07/2020

6. American Optometric Association. Dry Eye. Available: Accessed: 15/07/2020

7. Alcon data on file. Market Research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Alcon Laboratories Australia Pty Ltd in 2016 n=300. Available on request (pp.15)

8. Alcon data on file. Market Research conducted by GFK Eye Care P2P 2018 n=202. Available on request (pp. 36,43)


10. Christensen, M. et al. Clinical evaluation of an HP-guars gellable lubricant eye drop for the relief of dryness of the eye. Current Eye Research 2004; 28(1): 55-62. (Sponsored by Alcon)