WHAT IS DRY EYE?
Though patients and doctors often speak of “dry eye” the more appropriate term is ocular surface disease. Ocular surface disease (OSD) can contribute to discomfort, blurred vision, eyestrain, even scarring of the cornea and permanent vision loss in severe cases.
It’s caused by malfunctioning lacrimal glands (too few tears) or Meibomian glands (poor tear quality). Dehydration, lack of healthy fats in the diet, hormonal changes in the body, medication use or autoimmune and systemic problems (such as rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid dysfunction) can cause this condition.
We’re more likely to get it as we age, and women are more prone to OSD than men. Genetics play a role. So does the amount of time we spend on digital devices or tasks performed close to the eyes, overuse of contact lenses, and poor closure of lids or use of a C-PAP breathing machine while sleeping. Inside environments contribute, too: Heat dries out the air in our homes, while ceiling fans or automobile air conditioning blowing in our faces may bother us.
Ocular surface disease can cause damage and vision problems if left untreated for long periods of time. Once assessed, we can curate an individual treatment plan based off our diagnostic findings and your symptoms, and get you back to living and seeing comfortably.
HOW IS DRY EYE TREATED?
Traditionally, Dry Eye treatments often included lubricating eye drops, hot compresses, and supplements. Unfortunately, for many patients, these traditional treatments are not enough to alleviate their symptoms. Now, more advanced technology exists that we have been able to bring in for our patients from INMODE– Forma-I Radiofrequency (RF) and Lumecca Intense pulse light (IPL) treatments. These are noninvasive, efficient and effective treatments using state of the art technology with dramatic results.
INMODE Forma-I Radiofrequency treatment (RF):
INMODE Forma-I Radiofrequency treatment (RF) uses Radio-Frequency energy to generate heat which is applied to the skin around the eyes. This heat stimulates collagen formation, bringing white blood cells, and stem cells to the skin around your eyes while reducing inflammation. The main benefits of RF are:
- Safely heating meiboman glands for expressions
- Tightening existing collagen at the dermal layer
- Stimulating the production of NEW collagen in the deeper dermis
This treatment aids in opening up clogged meibomian glands, allowing for improved tear production and secretion, while also reducing the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet, droopy eyelids, etc. The Forma Eye has also been recently approved by Health Canada as a safe and clinically proven treatment for dry eye.
INMODE Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL):
INMODE Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL) works to control the inflammatory process and to stop the vicious cycle of inflammation and to reduce the need for medications. IPL treats ocular rosacea, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and Inflammatory dry eye. IPL treatment involves flashes of light to the skin around the eyelids and face. Light gets absorbed by the mitochondria of the Meibomian Glands. This helps to switch on the Glands. They become ‘younger’ and more active. It has been shown to decrease demodex and bacteria around the eyelids. The powerful bursts of light also close off blood vessels that release inflammation in ocular rosacea. The Glands produce better Meibomian Oil and improve dry eyes. IPL also kills bacteria and Demodex on the surface of the eyelids.
It can also be used to treat age spots, vascular lesions, sun damage, pigmented lesions, freckles and more. Lumecca operates using photothermolysis which rejuvenates the skin through a photofacial effect. It has been recently approved by Health Canada as a safe effective treatment for blepharitis, ocular rosacea and dry eyes.
HOW DO WE DETERMINE WHICH TREATMENTS ARE BEST FOR YOU?
At your dry eye consultation, you will be given a comprehensive screening questionnaire and one of our technicians will take a series of images of your eyes with the Oculus Keratograph. The OCULUS Keratograph® 5M integrates with computer technology to create detailed, full-color digital images of your eye. It is used to collect specific information including high resolution images and videos so that not only we can diagnose the cause of your dry eye, but also measure it in the future to see if we are making progress with your treatment. This device also allows us to capture special scans of the meibomian glands within the eye lid that are often the cause of dry eye syndrome. Furthermore, the actual tear volume can be measured. At the completion of all the individual tests, a report can be printed called the Crystal Tear Report that explains each test and how your results are scored. Your doctor will review the results of the questionnaire and images with you, and will formulate a treatment plan tailored specifically for your eyes and symptoms.