Dry eye is a confirmed medical disease that is extremely common. Dry eye disease can range from being a mild inconvenience to a debilitating condition with severe pain. The good news is there are now several effective treatments that can provide lasting comfort. You do not have to tolerate the discomfort of dry eyes or contact lens dryness. There is relief available!
You could have dry eye disease and not even know it. There are many symptoms of dry eye:
- Burning, soreness, stinging or pain in or around the eyes
- Itching or irritation
- Redness of eyes and/or eyelids
- Sandy/gritty feeling
- Feeling like there is something in your eye (foreign body sensation)
- Aching or sore eyes
- Tired eyes, especially with reading, watching TV or using a computer
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes (the most common cause of wet, watery eyes is actually dry eye disease)
- Contact lens discomfort or intolerance
- Stringy discharge
- Fluctuating vision
- Blurred vision, particularly first thing in the morning, and/or late in the day
- Eyes easily irritated by smoke, allergens, fragrances, etc.
- Eyelids feel “heavy”
There are many causes of dry eyes, such as certain medications, specific medical conditions, hormonal changes, environmental, oil gland dysfunction, reading and screen use. At our office, we perform thorough testing to investigate and determine the cause(s) of your dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease is usually chronic. Treatments will help, with some being short term while others are long term to be taken indefinitely.
- Regular and specialized moisturizing eye drops
- Dry eye oral supplements
- Medications – topical eye drops and oral tablets
- Eyelid hygiene routine
- Punctal plugs
- Mechanical cleaning of lids
- Mechanical expression of oil glands
- IPL and LLLT Procedure to activate the oil glands:
IPL – Intense Pulse Light
Cutting edge technology used in dermatology is now available to treat dry eye disease. We are one of the few offices in Ontario to have this technology. It is a safe and non-invasive treatment for moderate to severe dry eye patients. IPL works via several mechanisms and has many benefits for the eye. It has been shown that IPL is very effective for dry eye disease because it treats several issues:
- Decreases inflammation by targeting the abnormal blood vessels of the lid (which decreases the release of inflammatory mediators)
- Unclogs the eye’s oil glands by heating the meibomian oil glands and helping to liquefy the solidified oil
- Eliminates harmful bacteria and common mites that are found on the eyelids.
- Makes blood flow better, which allows improved secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
- An added benefit is that it promotes synthesis of new collagen, which gives the face a mini facial!
LLLT – Low Level Light Therapy
LLLT is another technology that has been used in dermatology for many years. We are one of the few offices in Ontario to have this technology. It is a safe and non-invasive treatment for moderate to severe dry eye patients. It also is an effective and non surgical method to shrink styes and chalazion in the eyelids.
It works via photobiomodulation. This means that a specific wavelength of light is absorbed by the cells and is transformed into biochemical energy. The benefit is that the cells of the oil glands are energized and thus are able to secrete more oil and better lubricate the eye. LLLT also heats up the oil glands to enable the shrinkage of styes and chalazion.
Please call our office and speak to Christina to book your dry eye evaluation.