Health chiefs in the Black Country and West Birmingham have shared advice for people who suffer with dry eyes.

Having dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when there is not enough production of tears to lubricate the surface of the eye.

Dry eye syndrome can affect anyone, but it is more common with increasing age and whilst it doesn’t tend to cause serious damage, it can be very uncomfortable.

Whilst severity of symptoms varies from person to person, people may have dry eyes if their eyes are:

• Itchy

• Sore

• Gritty

• Red

• Blurry

• Sensitive light

• More watery than normal.

There is no cure for dry eyes, however there are some treatments that can help your eyes feel more comfortable. There are lots of different types of drops and gels which are available over-thecounter at your local pharmacy.

Sundip Gill, Superintendent Pharmacist at Fallings Park Pharmacy in Wolverhampton, said: “Dry eyes is a condition where there aren’t enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision.

“This is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. Whilst there is no cure for dry eyes, there are some over-the-counter treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and help your eyes feel more comfortable.

“Your local pharmacist will be able to give advice on how to treat dry eyes yourself such as cleaning and protecting your eyes, as well as advise whether you need to see an optician or GP.

“Pharmacists should always be your first choice for help with any minor ailments and conditions. We can treat you using a variety of over the counter medicines, or advise the best medicine or care for a range of ailments and conditions in addition to dry eyes, such as aches and pains, coughs, colds, rashes and allergies.”

Pharmacists are highly trained experts in medicines and they can offer you advice and treatments without seeing a doctor. To find your local pharmacy, click here.

Patients registered with GP practices in the Black Country and West Birmingham can also make use of the Pharmacy First service. This service provides people who are exempt from prescription charges with free over-the-counter medicines so they do not need to see a GP to receive the medication on prescription.

For more information on Pharmacy First and to find participating pharmacies, click here.