Dry Eye Therapy
Dry Eye therapy
- pharmaceutical tear modulators (Restasis and Xiidra)
- artificial tears (preserved and undpreserved)
- autologous serum drops
- scleral lens fittings
- medical procedures such as punctal plugs
- the fitting of amniotic contact lenses in moderate to severe cases
- eyelid cleansing or debridement
- warm compresses
- eye whiteners (LUMIFY)
- nutritional supplements such as Omega-3s
- and light/heat treatment of the meibomian glands to relieve symptoms and minimize ocular tissue damage.
The tear film is comprised of 3 layers: mucin, aqueous and oil (meibum) that protects the surface of the eye. When the tear film is disturbed from its optimal composition, it results in the symptoms already mentioned. The most common cause of dry eye is the presence of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Understanding the tear film can help us determine the underlying cause and what needs to be supplemented or addressed.
These are some of the common contributing factors that can lead to chronic dry eye disease:
- Auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disease, and lupus
- Medicines such as beta-blockers, antihistamines, diuretics, Accutane, glaucoma, and anxiety medications
- Refractive eye surgery such as LASIK or cataract surgery
- Contact lens use
- Large eye openings known as the interpalpebral fissure
- bacterial infestation of the eyelids known as blepharitis (see below and one of its treatments)
Other contributing factors that can aggravate dry eye symptoms include: dry climates, smoke, wind, low indoor humidity, allergies, decreased blink rate (often seen with computer viewing), menopause, advanced age, entropian and ectoprian (inward and outward misdirection of the eyelids, respectively).
Dry Eye/Computer Vision Syndrome
Long periods staring at a computer or smartphone screen contribute to dry eyes from a lack of blinking, as previously mentioned. Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, can consist of any of the following symptoms while working on a digital device or computer screen: tired, sore eyes, burning or gritty sensation, blurred or strained vision, and watery eyes. Proper screen ergonomics, prescription lenses, and ocular lubricants are some of the tools we have available to alleviate symptoms. A good rule to follow is known as the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes in front of a digital screen, take a 20 second break while looking at something 20 feet (i.e. far) away.
Take our dry eye questionnaire and submit prior to your eye exam by clicking here.
To learn more about dry eye disease and its treatment, visit www.dryeyetherapy.ca