Dry Eye Care

Dry Eye Disease is a very common condition, affecting an estimated one in every four Canadians.  There are many reasons why our eyes become dry, which can lead to them feeling tired, sore, gritty and irritable.  Dry Eye Disease can also cause problems with vision, giving blurred vision, often needing several blinks to clear it and, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to the front surface of the eye.

 

Computer and glasses

Some times the cause may seem obvious, when you spend a lot of time on a computer, phone or tablet, you blink less often making your eyes drier.  Often the cause of dry eye symptoms may not be obvious and it is important to rule out other disease conditions affecting the eyes or the overall health which can lead to similar symptoms.  Proper assessment and diagnosis in managing Dry Eye Disease is essential.

Dry Eye Diagnosis

The tear film and surface tissues of the eye are a complex environment, to assess the balance of these systems we provide a separate dedicated appointment.  If we detect some of the signs of Dry Eye Disease during our comprehensive eye examinations, we will recommend a dedicated appointment to allow for the additional assessments necessary.  We are also happy to receive referrals for our Dry Eye appointments.

During our work-up, we will take both a detailed history and symptoms and use an evidence-based questionnaire to help identify the presence and stage of Dry Eye Disease, we will also consider factors in your lifestyle and health which may be impacting on the quality of your tear film.  Establishing baselines is a vital component in the management of long-term conditions like Dry Eye Disease.

There are specific tests which are part of our dry eye appointments, which are not part of a general comprehensive eye examination.  We will assess the quantity of tears present and the concentration of salts in the tear film.  Assessing the surface of the eye, the glands of the eyelids and the inner surface of the eyelids further assists in an accurate diagnosis of the specific Dry Eye Disease present.  Using dyes to stain the surface of the eye and to highlight the tear film present is another essential component of our Dry Eye work-up.

This picture helps to explain just how complex the tear film is!

Tear Film

Once we have properly assessed your eyes we will know if it is an Aqueous Deficient or Evaporative Dry Eye,  or a combination of both.

Dry Eye Management

With an accurate diagnosis, we will give a personal management plan to make steps to recovering a stable and comfortable tear film and ocular surface.  If possible, our initial goal will be to try to improve the natural tear film present.  Treatments may include in-office procedures and at home therapies as well as recommendations for lifestyle changes.

Once treatment has started we will continue to follow-up to ensure that the changes are effective.

A great resource for information about dry eye can be found here:

mydryeye.ca