WHAT IS DRY EYE?
Dry Eye is a chronic condition called dry eye disease (DED).
Most cases of dry eye disease (DED) are due to obstructed oil glands (meibomian glands) inside the eyelids, damaging and eventually destroying the oil glands. The tear layer becomes unstable as too few tears, or poor quality tears are produced. This causes a lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the eye surface.
Symptoms can include discomfort, burning, stinging or itchiness in or around your eye, a sandy or gritty feeling. It may also cause blurred vision, tired sensation in your eyes, red eyes, watery eyes, sensitivity to light, discomfort with contact lens wear or eye irritation from wind, smoke, pollution or air conditioning.
DED can be caused by a number of factors such as aging, certain medications, hormonal changes, autoimmune and chronic diseases (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea or Sjogren’s Syndrome), eye surgery, frequent computer use, and exposure to air pollution, air conditioning or heating.
If you feel you have dry eye disease, Tsawwassen Optometry Clinic can help. We now provide comprehensive dry eye assessments (booked separately from your eye exam) with specialty diagnostic testing and customized treatment plans to address the root cause(s) of dry eye. During a dry eye assessment, your optometrist will check your tear film stability by putting a yellow dye in your eye. At Tsawwassen Optometry Clinic, we have a Meibox Meibographer that uses advanced techniques to image your meibomian glands and analyze your tear layer.
Ocular surface disease can cause damage and vision problems if left untreated for long periods of time. Once assessed, we can create an individual treatment plan based off of our diagnostic findings and your symptoms, and get you back to living and seeing comfortably.
HOW IS DRY EYE TREATED?
Dry eye disease can be managed by using eye drops (preservative free is best), warm compresses, vitamin supplementation, daily eyelid cleansing and modifying lifestyle.
Treatments range from simple home therapies to advanced in-office treatments. To help patients manage their dry eye disease and cope with their symptoms, Tsawwassen Optometry has a great selection of premium eye care products.
Tsawwassen Optometry Clinic now offers more advanced technologies for our patients. These in office procedures are non-invasive, efficient and effective treatments using state of the art technology with dramatic results. These procedures also have the added beauty benefits of skin tightening and rejuvenation.
INMODE Forma-I Radiofrequency treatment (RF):
INMODE Forma-I Radiofrequency treatment (RF) uses Radio-Frequency energy to generate heat which is applied to the skin around the eyes. This heat stimulates collagen formation, bringing white blood cells, and stem cells to the skin around your eyes while reducing inflammation. The main benefits of RF are:
- Safely heating meiboman glands for expressions
- Tightening existing collagen at the dermal layer
- Stimulating the production of NEW collagen in the deeper dermis
This treatment aids in opening up clogged meibomian glands, allowing for improved tear production and secretion, while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet, droopy eyelids, etc. The Forma Eye has also been recently approved by Health Canada as a safe and clinically proven treatment for dry eye.
INMODE Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL):
INMODE Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL) works to control the inflammatory process and to stop the vicious cycle of inflammation and to reduce the need for medications. IPL treats ocular rosacea, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and Inflammatory dry eye. IPL treatment involves flashes of light to the skin around the eyelids and face. Light gets absorbed by the mitochondria of the Meibomian Glands. This helps to switch on the Glands. They become ‘younger’ and more active. It has been shown to decrease demodex and bacteria around the eyelids. The powerful bursts of light also close off blood vessels that release inflammation in ocular rosacea. The Glands produce better Meibomian Oil and improve dry eyes. IPL also kills bacteria and Demodex on the surface of the eyelids.
It can also be used to treat age spots, vascular lesions, sun damage, pigmented lesions, freckles and more. Lumecca operates using photothermolysis which rejuvenates the skin through a photofacial effect. It has been recently approved by Health Canada as a safe effective treatment for blepharitis, ocular rosacea and dry eyes.
Zocular Eyelid System Treatment (ZEST)
Zest is used to treat a blepharitis, a common eye condition where the eyelids become inflamed and irritated. Okra, Aloe, Citrus extract, and Caffeine are combined to provide an effective treatment for eyelid hygiene. The natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-oxidant properties of Aloe Vera and Citrus Extract have been known to reduce skin irritation and redness and restore the natural state of the eyelids. It gently removes bacteria, toxins and debris on the eyelid margin, while exfoliating the eyelids and reducing inflammation.
Although Dry Eye Disease cannot be completely cured, Tsawwassen Optometry Clinic can help you manage your dry eye and enhance the health of your ocular surface.
If you feel you are suffering from dry eyes, please call Tsawwassen Optometry Clinic at 604-943-6114 to learn more, or schedule an appointment for a dry eye assessment.
A Testimonial on Dry Eye Treatment
I first met Dr. Sara Kirby in September, 2022. I was seeking help for the following symptoms:
- Swollen eyelids
- Redness in the eyes
- Gritty feeling (continuous)
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Blurred vision when driving at night
- Pain behind the eyes (headache)
Dr. Kirby diagnosed me with extreme ‘dry eye’ in both eyes. I had blocked tear ducts so my tears weren’t lubricating my eyes. She told me about a new laser treatment that had just been approved by Health Canada. Doctors in the U.S. had been using the technology for awhile and were reporting impressive results in their patients.
I said “Sign me up.” I had been in pain for so long.
So … I started a series of 4 treatments of about 20 minutes each – spaced out every three weeks. The treatments were relaxing and reminded me of a trip to the spa.
I felt immediate relief after the very first treatment (I hadn’t even left the office!)
Long story short – I finished my 4th treatment on January 3, 2023. I feel (and look) like a different person. My eyes are fully open, the inflammation in my eyelids has subsided. My eyes are not red and irritated anymore. I’m even sleeping better.
I am sharing my story in the hopes that anyone experiencing ‘dry eye’ symptoms may consider this treatment. I feel like a different person.