Dry eyes are not just uncomfortable; if left untreated they can cause long term corneal damage.
If you suffer from dry eyes, Okotoks Eyecare is here to help. At Okotoks Eyecare we will not just treat your symptoms, we will identify the root cause of your dry eyes so that we can create a tailored treatment plan that allows you to benefit from long lasting relief.
For more information about the dry eye treatments available, and to determine which treatment option is best for your dry eyes, please request an appointment.
There are two root causes of dry eyes: inadequate tear volume and poor tear quality. Our eyes require a healthy, balanced tear film to stay lubricated. If we are not able to produce enough tears, or the tears we do produce do not contain enough oil, water, or mucin our eyes become dry and irritated.
Our tears are produced by several different glands, which are located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes are not able to produce as many tears, which can cause dry eyes. Certain medical conditions and medications can also affect our ability to produce enough tears to keep our eyes lubricated.
Even if our eyelids are able to produce enough tears to meet our needs, environmental factors, such as a dry climate or wind, can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly.
Our tears are composed of three substances: an oil called meibum, water, and mucin. Meibum keeps our tears from evaporating too quickly by forming a thin, protective coating over the tear’s surface. The mucin ensures that our tears are able to form an even coating across the front surface of our eyes (the cornea). If the water in our tears evaporate too quickly, or our eyes cannot uniformly distribute our tears, it can cause dry eyes.
Dry eye symptoms may include:
Okotoks Eyecare provides a wide variety of dry eye treatments that target the root cause of your dry eye symptoms. These include:
While artificial tears can provide you with temporary relief from dry eye by lubricating your eyes Restasis and other medicated topical treatments help address the root cause of the problem by reducing inflammation and stimulating natural tear production.
Meibum is produced by the meibomian glands, which are located in our eyelids. If our meibomian glands become clogged, they are unable to provide our eyes with sufficient meibum, causing dry eyes. Meibomian gland expression is a painless in-office treatment that combines soothing heat and eyelids massage to soften the thick meibum that is obstructing your glands so that it can be gently removed, allowing your glands to function normally again.
Okotoks Eyecare uses a variety of tools to diagnose and treat the root cause of your dry eyes and provide you with relief from your symptoms. These tools include:
InflammaDry is a diagnostic test that is used to help us determine if you have dry eyes. This test detects elevated levels of MMP-9, which is an inflammatory marker that is typically high in patients with dry eye disease.
Meibox is a diagnostic and monitoring tool that allows your optometrist to detect dry eyes and other eye diseases, and monitor their progression.
The Osmolarity System by TearLab is a diagnostic tool that allows your optometrist to analyze the makeup of your tears and determine which, if any, key component is lacking. This, in turn, helps us determine if your dry eye is caused by insufficient tear volume or poor tear quality.
Ilux is an in-office treatment that is used for meibomian gland expression. The small, handheld device gently warms your eyelids, and carefully monitors their temperature to avoid applying too much heat. Once the meibum has been sufficiently heated the device then gently compresses your eyelid in order to remove the built up clogged meibum from your meibomian glands.
In some cases, dry eyes can be caused by blepharitis, which is an infection and irritation of the eyelid margins and can cause a crusty buildup of debris and bacteria along your lid line. Blephex is an in-office treatment involving a small, handheld cleaning tool that allows your optometrist to exfoliate along the edge of your eyelids and eyelashes, removing the debris and bacteria, relieving your blepharitis symptoms.
If you suffer from dry eyes, Okotoks Eyecare can help.
For more information about dry eyes, and to determine which treatment is right for you, please request an appointment today.
Located next to Starbucks in the Cornerstone Shopping Complex.