[AD: this post is sponsored by SCOPE, for whom I conducted a daily trial of their range of products designed for mild to moderate dry eyes, in return for an honest review.]
Oh my, how much happier do we feel when the sun is shining? I know I certainly feel those sunny vibes inside and out during this season. The only drawback for me is the rise in pollen and the dreaded onset of hay fever which I spoke about recently but, as luck would have it – and just on cue to rescue my dry, itchy eyes – leading ophthalmic brand, SCOPE, got in touch with me and asked whether I would like to help them spread the important message of maintaining eye health during midlife years! I was delighted to accept their offer and help lead the fight against dry eyes in menopause…
Being late to the hay fever party (no need for cake, there’s not much to celebrate) I had recently found out that changes in the body during menopause can lead to a weakened immune system and susceptibility to suffering allergies like hay fever. As well as this, a drop in the hormone oestrogen can lead to a lack of secretions, affecting the ability of the eyes to produce natural lubrication and thus, making us more prone to dry eyes and irritation. As if hot flushes and serious mood swings were not enough – mother nature drops this little treat on us too!
Well, I’ve never been one to give in and accept things as they are if I don’t like how it feels – and luckily for me, SCOPE also doesn’t agree with the ‘you’ll just have to suffer’ ethos either. They are looking to target midlife, menopausal consumers to let them us know that there really is no need to put up with aggravating symptoms such as dry, irritated eyes as their range of preservative-free products are designed to ensure we can look after our eyes, effectively and easily with a fuss-free daily routine which can bring instant comfort. When I found out that 9/10 optometrists and opticians voted SCOPE the brand they would happily recommend, I couldn’t wait to be help them spread their message and set my eyes firmly on the prize!
EYE PROMISE TEST
To make sure that I was getting the best products for my particular needs, I went online and took SCOPE’s clinically-assessed #EyePromise Test. It only takes a minute or two to answer 6 simple questions which are designed to make recommendations in line with your particular symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Obviously, if you have severe eye problems, you will need specialist help, but this test is a great starting point for most of us.
SCOPE have lots of products in their range and this is a great way to make sure you get just the right ones for you. Click here to take you through to the simple #EyePromise Test and start your journey to healthier eyes
I was shocked to find that as many as 2 in 5 of us suffer from tired, itchy or irritated eyes. I know that I suffer from dry eyes due to natural ageing and depleting oestrogen levels, but SCOPE also say that the following factors can contribute:
- Contact lens wear
- Anti-histamine and some other medications
- Environmental conditions such as air conditioning in cars, offices and airplanes
- Increased tablet, phone or PC use
- Age related dry eye
- Poor diet and dehydration
I think most of us will admit to being glued to our screens – often wide-eyed and unblinking – for longer than is sensible – especially since lockdown. I, for one, have been the Queen of the Scroll while researching positive social media posts helping to save my sanity. But unfortunately, while this may have lifted my spirits, it’s definitely not helped my eyes! So, once I received the four products recommended specifically for me, I couldn’t wait to give them a go.
SCOPE Heat, Cleanse and Hydrate Eye Care Range
OPTASE Moist Heat Mask
This fabric mask has an adjustable strap and silky protective pouch. This is great for me as being able to put it away safely in its little bag after use means less chance of me leaving it around to get buried by the dog (you should see the hotch- potch of treasures I’ve found in his basket!)
The mask contains HyrdoBeads which absorb moisture from the air, and once heat activated – simply pop in the microwave for 25 seconds (800w) – they release a natural, consistent moist heat. Once I checked the temperature, I laid down on the sofa and placed them over closed lids and as the heat loosened the oils in the Meibomian glands (in your eyelids) it helps to restore moisture to the eye and surrounding areas.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
This is a welcome treat in the afternoon or just before bed. The heat is so relaxing and I like to leave it for 10 minutes or longer while I listen to a meditation track to really deepen my zen levels! During the hot weather, it’s also lovely to pop the mask in the freezer for 30 minutes and then use it to cool down the eyes and get rid of puffiness.
The mask is a daily step in my health and beauty routine now and a wonderful way to aid relaxation and calm as well as improve the moisture levels of my eyes. Word of warning – although the mask is reusable and washable, if you’re using it heated up, you’ll find the eyes will start to lubricate quite quickly meaning that any makeup will be left on the mask and under your eyes afterwards. Thankfully, I caught sight of my mascara smudged eyes just before I went onto a zoom call. So, I’d suggest you’re mascara free before use!
OPTASE Lid Wipes
This box of 20 wipes has a place on my makeup table for good. Each wipe contains a gentle concentration of Tea Tree Oil and Camomile which is perfect for soothing tired, dry and sore eyes. Combined with moisturising properties of Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera, each wipe makes for a lovely, gentle cleansing treat.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Initially, I worried that the Tea Tree Oil might make it too astringent for the eye area, but I’m happy to report my fears unfounded. I think the formulation of the oil with the other moisturising ingredients is a real winner for keeping lids and lashes clean and soft. After washing my hands, I hold the skin at the corner of my eyes to avoid pulling (no more wrinkles needed thanks) and softly sweep the wipe back and forth across the lids and lashes.
I was impressed with the wipes ability to remove my makeup and leave the whole area totally clean, yet feeling soft too. Although I haven’t used these wipes when I’ve had conjunctivitis or crusty eyes, they would be the perfect remedy for gently cleaning away debris.
OPTASE Dry Eye Spray
This nifty little spray is delivered through a unique dispenser that allows it to remain sterile for up to 6 months without any preservatives. It’s a unique composition of Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil (a natural source of omega 3) and Sodium Hyaluronate (the even more effective, deeper penetrating version of Hyaluronic Acid.) Once on the eye, the spray mixes with the protective oil layer produced by glands in your eyelids, so that when you open your eyes, the enhanced tear mix spreads onto your eyes improving the tear quality and I find that it’s a great relief for hard-working peepers.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
I like using this spray either first thing to liven up my tired eyes on waking and to get the moisture flowing or on returning from the dogwalk where the pollen seems to pounce into my eyes regardless of the oversized sunnies I wear to shield them! I pump the spray twice onto each closed lids and on opening the eye, love the fresher feeling.
I have to say, it’s a toss up between the Dry Eye Spray and the Eye Mask as to what is my favourite product in the range. The unexpected bonus of the spray is the way the skin around my eyes is left feeling plumper and smoother thanks to the super hydrating formula, which means I didn’t always feel the need for eye cream. Result!
OPTASE Allergy Eye Drops
OPTASE Allergy Eye Drops contain a natural molecule called Ectoin which helps both to flush allergens from the eye and protect from harmful allergens entering the tear-film (the thin layer of tears which protects, nourishes and lubricates the eye). Each box contains convenient single dose units so they’re easy to use on the go.
While some of us only get allergic reactions for a few months at a time, others can get them all round from irritants such as dust mites, animal fur, work-related allergens and tree and grass pollen. So it’s always handy to have some optometrist recommended drops to hand. Considering these ones are a safe alternative with similar effects to prescribed allergy medicines – I think they’re ideal to have on me to tackle my annoying bouts of hay fever.
These drops are my saviour after extra long weekend walks. I was determined not to let sore, itchy eyes put me off the walks I’ve always enjoyed so much but admit that this season particularly, I have been making excuses to cut them short because I couldn’t be bothered with the suffering that often accompanied them. Now I carry these with me and use them as soon as I feel stinging and irritation – and to flush out the odd fly that seems to find its way in with the pollen! They work a treat.
SCOPE’s range of products are easy to use every day, fit in well with my busy lifestyle and keep my eyes healthy, comfortable and feeling fresh as can be so I’m delighted to work with them on the #EyePromise campaign, helping midlife women find a gentle and effective solution to dry eyes during menopause. The fact that as a brand, they’re incredibly well respected by top eye specialists, are preservative-free and also good for contact lens wearers means they’re a safe bet for us all. Go to the SCOPE website here for more details and keep your eyes in their best health ever from here on in.