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The ACO understands the burden that dry eye disease can have on your vision and it’s impact on your  quality of life.  In 2022, we launched a dedicated Dry Eye Disease Clinic, staffed by optometrists with a special interest in this area.  The clinic, located within the Carlton site, is equipped with a comprehensive suite of diagnostic and therapeutic devices. Your attending optometrist, GP or ophthalmologist may refer you to the clinic but referrals are not required to attend.

Patients can expect a thorough examination to better understand how the disease is presenting and allow our optometrists to develop a tailored management strategy.

What is dry eye?


Dry eye disease is a condition that affects millions of people world-wide and is one of the most common reasons for contacting an eye care practitioner.  Symptoms of dry eye can include:

  • dry, gritty or foreign body sensation on your eyes
  • sore, stingy or burning eyes
  • light sensitivity;
  • intermittent blurring of the vision
  • excessive tearing
  • eye fatigue

The underlying features of the disease causes ocular surface inflammation, damage and changes to the way the nerves function. Early instances of mild dry eye disease can develop into a chronic condition that can cause significant pain, impact daily visual function, reduced vitality, poor general health and in some instances, depression. Early intervention is important in avoiding more severe disease.

Risk factors for developing dry eye are many; increasing age, female gender, Asian race, connective tissue disease, auto-immune conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome are consistently related. Environmental conditions such as pollution and low humidity can also contribute to disease severity as do lifestyle factors such as continuous screen time. Certain health conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease, as well as medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants can also contribute to the underlying disease process.

Your appointment


Your dry eye examination will:

  • assess your symptoms,
  • identify risk factors and potential causes
  • determine the severity using specialised equipment
  • provide a diagnosis and tailored treatment plan

Since there are often many factors at play, management can require a multi-faceted approach.

Tailored treatment


Based on the findings of your examination, your optometrist will tailor a treatment plan to best suit your needs.

Safe, at-home therapies and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to you. There are also a range of in-clinic care options which your optometrist will prescribe if appropriate.

Our dry eye optometrists apply the clinical gold standard approach to diagnosis and management, to reduce the burden of this disease.

Make an appointment


Our Dry Eye Disease Clinic is only available at our Carlton location.  To make an appointment or find out more, please call us on 03 9349 7455 or email at clinic@aco.org.au.

You can request an appointment online here.