Dry Eye Treatment in Calgary

Dry eye syndrome is a condition consisting of a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, causing minor irritation. It can also lead to an inability to wear contact lenses and result in an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections. At Premier Eye Care, your optometrist in Calgary, AB, we provide treatments for relieving dry eye.

Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of dry eye that can be enough for your eye doctor to make a diagnosis include dryness, scratchiness, and a burning sensation. He or she may also want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes by placing a thin strip of filter paper at the edge of the eye. This is called a Schirmer test and is one way to measure tears. Another symptom is a “foreign body sensation” or feeling that something is in the eye. An unexpected symptom of dry eye is watery eyes, because the excessive dryness can lead to overstimulation of the production of the watery component in your tears.

  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Unusual Discharge
  • Eye fatigue
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Sensation that something is in your eye
  • Excess tears
  • Blurry vision

Dry Eye Causes

Essentially, dry eye syndrome is the result of the tear glands in the eye failing to produce enough tears to sufficiently moisturize the eye, or the tears have a chemical composition that causes them to evaporate too quickly. A variety of things can cause dry eye, including as a side effect of medication; living in a dry, dusty, or windy climate with low humidity; long-term contact lens wear; or living or working in an environment with air conditioning or a dry heating system. It is also associated with some systemic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and can be a part of the natural ageing process.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Another common condition causing dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). For individuals with MGD, the meibomian glands that help produce tears get clogged or have been reduced due to age. Wearing contact lenses and ethnicity are other major factors in patients having MGD.

Dry Eye Treatment

Treatment for dry eye syndrome may not cure the condition, but can help with managing symptoms. Common treatments include:

  • Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops. Prescription eye drops even help increase tear production.
  • BlephEx™️: This micro-sponge procedure exfoliates your eyelids and removes common eye irritants, such as bacterial debris.
  • Punctal Plugs: Recommended for more serious cases of dry eye. These are tiny devices that are inserted in the ducts in the lids to slow down the drainage of tears, keeping them moister.
  • Hot Compresses: The heat that comes from the hot compress helps the glands that produce tears to work more efficiently. Hot compresses can provide instant relief by soothing the eye.
  • Omega 3 Supplements: These supplements are recommended in addition to other dry eye treatments. Omega 3 supplements can reduce the symptoms of dry eye.
  • Tea Tree Oil Lid Wipes: These wipes can relieve dry eye by safely eliminating Demodex mites that can irritate your eyes. Tea tree oil is an all natural antiseptic that is effective for getting rid of mites.
  • Antibiotics: Inflammation can prevent your oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Antibiotics can reduce inflammation along the edge of your eyelids.
  • Pharmaceutical Eye Drops: For quick and temporary relief, pharmaceutical eye drops can relieve dry eye by lubricating eyes.
  • Autologous Serum Drops: These serum eye drops are made from the patient’s blood serum and plasma. Autologous serum eye drops have essential components that are present in natural tears.
  • Radiofrequency: The radiofrequency energy generally used to stimulate collagen production and smooth out wrinkles on the skin has been noted to improve dry eye symptoms in patients when it is used around the eyelid area.

Other things you can do to reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome are to use an air cleaner and/or humidifier to filter out dust and particles and add moisture to the air; taking nutritional supplements that contain essential fatty acids that can decrease symptoms; analyzing current medications to determine whether a medication is causing the problem. If you are on medication, be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your regimen.

Dry eye syndrome can be very uncomfortable. Pay a visit to Premier Eye Care in Calgary, AB where we can help you find a treatment that can relieve your symptoms.

Complete the dry eye questionnaire test and evaluate yourself about treatment which would be best for you

Dry Eye Questionnaire

Dry Eye FAQs

What is dry eye? 

What's most surprising to many patients is that dry eye syndrome doesn't always mean that your eyes are dry. The term is used in a broad sense to describe dysfunction in your eyes' tear film, which in turn impacts your level of tear production. As such, you may have the condition known as dry eye but also experience watery eyes.

What causes the dysfunction in the tear film? 

There can be any number of contributors to tear film dysfunction (such as hormone changes, autoimmune disease, certain medications, ageing, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease, to name a few). Still, the cause boils down to two factors. Either your eyelids aren't producing enough oil, or your system is not producing enough water to develop healthy tears.

What are the symptoms of dry eye? 

Symptoms of the condition will vary by individual, but the most common include:

  • Stinging, itchy, or burning sensations
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Eye discharge (especially in the morning)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue or a sense that something is in your eye
  • Inability to wear contact lenses
  • Visual challenges during nighttime driving

Are there specific risk factors associated with dry eye? 

As mentioned earlier, certain factors such as hormone changes, some medications, and inflamed eyelid glands and can contribute to the dysfunction in your tear film. Still, there are certain risk factors as well. These include being over the age of 50, being a contact lens wearer, being a woman, eating a diet that is low in Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, or previous refractive surgery.

Are there health complications associated with dry eye? 

Yes. That's why seeking treatment from a specialist in dry eye assessment like the team at Premier Eye Care is so important. When left untreated, dry eyes can lead to eye infections, damage to the surface of your eyes, and a decrease in quality of life.

What treatments are available for dry eye? 

Although there are a variety of treatments available, knowing which to use, or which combinations to use and in what order, is best managed by an eye care professional rather than relying solely on over-the-counter product or home remedy usage.  

How can I learn about the best course of treatment for my dry eyes? 

Please pay a visit to Premier Eye Care in Calgary, AB, where we can help with the best treatment to relieve your symptoms.