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Dry eyes are a common condition many people face around the globe. There are several causes of dry eyes, but nearly all can be broken down into 2 separate categories: insufficient tear volume and poor tear quality.
Please take a look at our Dry Eye Diagnostics page for more information on dry eyes’ causes and symptoms.
Lubricating the eyes frequently with preservative-free artificial tears (either hyaluronat- based or lipid based), can help relieve mild to moderate cases of dry eyes. While artificial tears can provide you with temporary relief by lubricating your eyes, Restasis and other medicated topical treatments address the root cause of the problem by reducing inflammation and stimulating natural tear production.
Good lid hygiene is also important. This can be achieved with warm compresses or a Bruder mask which heat up the lids, to better allow the tears to flow. Eyelid wipes may also be recommended. Examples include tea tree oil wipes and Zocuwipes, which are recommended for mite (demodex) infestations.
Hypochlorous acid, which can be used to supplement wipes, has good natural cleaning and anti-inflammatory properties to clean the lid and surrounding areas preventing bacteria build up.
Meibum is produced by the meibomian glands, which are located in our eyelids. If our meibomian glands become clogged, they cannot provide our eyes with sufficient meibum, causing dry eyes.
Meibomian gland expression is a painless in-office treatment that combines soothing heat and eyelid massage to soften the thick meibum that obstructs your glands so that it can be gently removed, allowing your glands to function normally again.
Once the meibum has been sufficiently heated, the device gently compresses your eyelid to remove the built-up clogged meibum from your meibomian glands.
TempSure Envi is one of our newest technological additions to our library of dry eye treatments. This device uses state-of-the-art radiofrequency lasers to melt blockages in your meibomian glands and stimulate the flow of healthy meibum to your tear film.
Punctal plugs are tiny, biocompatible inserts that are placed in your tear ducts. This ensures that your tears do not drain away too quickly, thereby increasing your tear volume. Punctal plugs can provide relief from some forms of dry eyes.
In some cases, dry eyes can be caused by blepharitis, an infection and irritation of the eyelid margins that can cause a crusty buildup of debris and bacteria along your lid line. Treatments such as BlephEx and Zest can help.
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.
ZEST is an in-office treatment used to target blepharitis and inflammation caused by mites (demodex). It uses mechanical force to remove biofilm and reduce blepharitis through its active anti-inflammatory component, okra.
Several cycles of treatments may be required to eradicate the underlying cause of dry eyes, blepharitis, demodex and inflammation, but your optometrist will be able to advise you how many treatments and how often would be beneficial.
Managing your condition at home with the suggested care treatments will go a long way and are important for ensuring success.
Eye-Light? is an IPL andand low level light therapy system for dry eye and eyelid conditions. It functions by using a high-power LED light, which stimulates neurotransmitters. This stimulation causes Meibomian glands to produce at a higher rate, which ultimately leads to reduced tear evaporation. The use of Eye-Light contributes to a stabilized lipid tear layer. ?We offer both blue and red light mask treatments here at Okotoks Eyecare which are prescribed to help reduce inflammation surrounding the eyes.