Dry Eye Treatment
Do you have teary or watery eyes?
Burning, itchiness, or a sandy feeling around your eyelids?
You might have dry eye syndrome.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome? (DES)
Dry eye syndrome occurs when tear production and drainage are not in balance. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality. The result? Unpleasant symptoms, including itching, burning, redness, watery eyes, excessive tearing—and even eye pain. Dry eye syndrome can also increase your risk for more serious eye problems like corneal ulcers.
Without treatment or proper medication, DES can worsen over time.
The most common symptoms of ocular surface disease include:
- Blurry vision
- Burning and dry sensation
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Watery eyes
- Red, sore and gritty eyes
- Crusty or sticky eyelids
The increased use of air conditioning or heating systems in the summer and winter months may intensify symptoms. Humid climates, extreme temperatures, and dusty and windy conditions may aggravate eye dryness and itchiness as well.
What Are the Symptoms of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Our tears are made up of three components: the lipid (oil) layer, aqueous (water) layer, and the mucus (sticky) layer. These components work in unison to lubricate and coat the eyes, keeping them moist and comfortable.
Your meibomian glands control the lipids in the eye (meibum) which combine with water and mucus in the eye area to create a thin film that consistently lubricates your eyes. Meibum is an essential part of your eye’s makeup as it prevents the evaporation of the eye’s tear film.
If you have been diagnosed with meibomian gland disease, then the oil produced by the glands is of poor quality and/or quantity. This can be triggered by various factors and causes the tear film to evaporate at a quicker rate, leading the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable.
Ocular Surface Disease Treatments
Basic at-home treatments for Ocular surface disease include artificial tears, medicated drops, lid hygiene, and warm compresses.
Consider the products that are used around the eyes, like creams, cosmetics and makeup remover, and use only products that don't disrupt the tears. Advanced dry eye treatments are available at the Eye Health Centre include Blephex and Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL).
IPL improves meibomian gland function, as it targets inflammation of the glands, enzymes that reduce the quality of the oil, bacteria, demodex, and clogged glands. This advanced treatment can provide additional benefits for patients with acne rosacea and ocular rosacea. IPL can also treat chalazion without the need for surgery.
Our specialized dry eye evaluation includes meibomian gland imaging, skin type assessment, and skin condition considerations to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment. Patients with darker skin, or more pigmented areas on their faces, may feel more heat than patients with pale skin. The IPL may lighten pigmented areas on the skin.
Before starting treatment, it is important to discuss any systemic diseases you may have, and any medications or supplements you are taking. IPL treatment for dry eyes requires 4 visits, spaced 2-4 weeks apart. After the treatments, it is important to use a good quality SPF product to protect your skin. You will need to continue the at-home dry eye treatments that your optometrist has recommended to prolong the effects of the IPL treatment.
Call the Eye Health Centre to book your dry eye appointment today!