Dry Eye Assessment & Treatment in Calgary

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Dry Eye Disease: Bigger Than a Bother

Do your eyes feel uncomfortable and irritated, almost as if something has gotten into them that you just can’t blink out?  If this feeling persists over time, you may be suffering from dry eye disease.

Dry eye disease can be irritating, but the long-term effects can interfere with your eye health. This is especially true if you are a contact lens wearer. But you don’t need to suffer. At Trinity Hills Eyecare, we can help. Visit us to let our eyelid hygienist assess and treat your eyes.

What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye disease occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough tears, or when the tears produced aren’t of good quality. In either case, the surface of your eye can be left with dry patches.

Many factors may contribute to dry eye disease. It can be caused by environmental conditions, medications, aging, certain medical issues, and allergies.

Dry eyes are common; one study estimates that around 6 million Canadians suffer from dry eye disease.

The Lowdown on Tears

It’s odd but true: our tears have more in common with saliva than with saltwater. They contain enzymes, lipids, electrolytes, and metabolites. Our emotional tears even have hormones that your regular tears don’t (those regular tears are called basal tears, and they keep your eye moist).

Your tear film is comprised of 3 layers:

  • The inner layer: This layer is made of mucus and keeps the whole tear fastened to the eye.
  • The middle layer: The thickest layer. It’s watery to keep the eye hydrated, repel bacteria and protect the cornea.
  • An outer layer: This layer is oily to keep the surface of the tear film smooth for the eye to see through. It prevents the other layers from evaporating.

The outer layer of your tears is made in the Meibomian glands. Meibomian gland dysfunction is a condition that occurs when the production of this tear layer is disrupted. We use a process called meibography to look into the glands for blockages.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye has plenty of symptoms, all of them uncomfortable and irritating:

  • Stinging, burning or itching
  • Stringy mucus
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • The sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue
  • Watery eyes (as the body tries to make up for the irritation)

If you notice these symptoms, come see our eyelid hygienists for relief.

Eyelid Hygienists At Your Service

At Trinity Hills Eyecare, we like to think of ourselves as eyelid hygienists. We offer several gentle therapies to help keep your eyelids clean and healthy:

TempSure Envi

TempSure Envi is an innovative option to treat meibomian gland dysfunction, one of the most common causes of dry eye. The handheld device delivers radiofrequency waves to heat the deep tissues of the skin. These waves can also be used to heat the area surrounding the meibomian glands, unclogging them and allowing them to function correctly.

The iLux® system uses thermal pulsation and gentle pressure to remove gland blockages in your lids. Once the system has measured your lids and been fitted appropriately, a combination of light-based heat and compression is used to warm the oil trapped in the meibomian glands and gently press it to the surface.

Our lid hygienist will keep your lids free of debris to help relieve dry eye symptoms. A mild soap can be massaged in gently to clean the lid, and a hot compress can be used to ease irritation and stimulate the glands that produce tears. This process helps remove allergens, bacteria, and other foreign particles that may irritate your eyes.

Depending on the cause of your dry eye symptoms, we may be able to use a lid scrub to remove bacteria, debris, and other substances crusted around the eyelid. Lid scrubs can be made with ingredients like antibiotics, tea tree oil, and chemical exfoliants. Pamper your eyelids under the supervision of an eye care professional.

Different eye drops can be used to treat dry eye symptoms. Over-the-counter drops may be used to refresh eyes and help flush out irritants.

We can also prescribe eye drops that may help with chronic dry eye symptoms. At Trinity Hills Eyecare, we offer preservative-free drops to soothe your sore eyes.

Meibography is becoming a more popular screening tool for dry eyes, because it can be used on patients of all ages. A large number of patients suffering from dry eyes experience a form of Meibomian gland dysfunction, and meibography helps to provide clear images of the tear glands. 

Meibography is a tool that allows an optometrist to document the appearance of tear glands and monitor them over time, helping to determine the cause of a patient’s dry eye disease.

Let Us Give You Relief

Don’t let the symptoms of dry eye disease continue to cause you discomfort. Come to Trinity Hills Eyecare to discover what we can do for you.

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