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.

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 aging 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.

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.

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.