Dry Eye Treatment Calgary

Solutions for Dry Eyes

Looking for effective solutions for dry eyes? There are now clinically proven treatments for dry eye disease to give you relief from your symptoms. Dry Eye is an inflammatory disease, and eye drops often only provide temporary relief. New treatments such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), RF (Radio-frequency), BlephEx™ and iLUX®, treat the root causes of dry eye disease. Our doctors have special interest in the treatment of Dry Eyes and we have invested in the latest  technologies to give you long term relief of your dry eye symptoms.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye Disease is a chronic inflammatory condition is best managed when diagnosed and treated early. Symptoms can include:

  • Burning, grittiness, foreign body sensation
  • Redness, itching, desire to constantly rub the eyes
  • Excessive watering and tears overflowing onto cheeks
  • Feeling of wanting to close the eyes for relief
  • Inability to tolerate contact lenses

Causes of Dry Eye Disease

Our tear film and blinking mechanics work in harmony to lubricate, protect, and maintain the health of your eyes. This complex tear film consists of a matrix of mucus, water, electrolytes and a thin protective oily layer to prevent evaporation. Dysfunction of any of these components is usually due to inflammation. If the inflammation is chronic, tissue damage can occur, leading to long term scarring and poor blinking mechanics. Did you know:

  • The average blink rate drops from 12-15 times per minute, to 3-4 times per minute when using a computer. This leads to increased tear evaporation
  • Tear production is affected by many medications, including antidepressants, over-the-counter allergy pills, and even birth control pills.
  • Alcohol and caffeine make dry eyes worse, as does inadequate water intake and poor diet
  • Most dry eye symptoms are due to underlying eyelid disease (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) which needs to be treated
  • Our dry climate encourages the growth of eyelid mites (Demodex folliculorum) that harbour bacteria that promote inflammation

Diagnostic Testing for Dry Eye Disease

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for dry eyes. Dry Eye Disease is multifactorial and effective treatment requires a panel of diagnostic tests to determine the root cause of your dry eyes. 

  • Meibography – infrared imaging of the eyelids to assess the structure of the oil glands
  • Tear osmolarity – sampling the tears to see how dilute or concentrated they are
  • SM Tube – measuring the tear production volume
  • NIKBUT – measuring the stability of the tear film and how quickly they break up
  • Biomicroscopy – looking for signs of chronic inflammation, blockage of glands, structural changes, mites or bacteria, and numerous other pathologies.

These tests will allow us to accurately tailor your treatment with clinically proven methods to ensure long term relief of your dry eye symptoms.

Dry Eye Treatment

We will create a customized dry eye treatment plan for you to follow. This may include in-office treatments as outlined in the next section, and/or any of the following:

  • Medication including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and/or topical drugs such as cyclosporine (Restasis™, Cequa™) or lifitegrast (Xiidra™).
  • Autologous serum or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) drops – made from your own blood, these contain biological compounds to reduce inflammation and promote healing
  • Moisture goggles or tight fitting glasses to provide a moisture barrier that prevents tear evaporation
  • Unpreserved lubricant eye drops or gels specific to your type of dry eye
  • At-home eyelid hygiene regimen including warm compresses, lid massage, lid wipes and antibacterial sprays. This is often discussed alongside proper makeup application/removal practices
  • Blinking exercises, discussion of proper breaks when reading/using computer for long periods, environmental modification
  • Nutrition counseling, including high quality triglyceride (re-esterified) omega-3 supplementation
  • A change in contact lens modality, material, and/or solution care system

We will follow up at regular intervals to monitor your treatment effectiveness.

In-office Dry Eye Treatments

We offer clinically proven technologies and treatments for dry eye. Your customized treatment plan may include any of the following:

Blephex – Treatment for Demodex and Biofilm

BlephEx™ is an in-office procedure used to remove demodex mites and bacteria from the eyelash base, and hardened tissue from the eyelid margin. This effectively removes much of the source of inflammation and restores a healthy eyelid margin that more effectively produces and distributes good quality tears.

iLUX – Treatment for blocked Eyelid Glands

iLUX® is a dry eye procedure that clears the inflammatory material from plugged oil-producing glands in the upper and lower eyelids, stimulating proper oil production and restoring a healthy tear film with less tear evaporation. This procedure generally is repeated annually for long lasting results.

Radio Frequency (RF) – Treatment to improve Meibomian Gland function

Radio Frequency is a dry eye procedure that requires 3-4 initial treatments using subdermal heat to clear obstructed glands and stimulate collagen and elastin production. This improves the longer term function and health of the oil-producing eyelid glands, ultimately restoring a healthy tear film with less tear evaporation. As a side benefit, it also reduces fine lines and eyelid wrinkles!

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – Treatment for Ocular Rosacea

Intense Pulsed Light is a well studied dry eye treatment that uses high intensity light to shrink inflamed blood vessels in the eyelids and face. By directly treating the source of inflammation, it provides long lasting relief from dry eyes. Requiring 3-4 initial sessions, this procedure is extremely effective for facial and ocular rosacea. It also has the cosmetic benefits of improved skin tone and reduced uneven skin pigmentation!

Punctal Plugs – Treatment for Low Tear Volume

Punctal Plugs are small devices placed painlessly into the eyes’ tear drainage ducts to reduce the rate of tear drainage. This keeps the surface of the eyes more moist and well lubricated, thereby reducing the frequency at which artificial tear drops need to be instilled. They are available in a 3 or 6 month dissolving format, or a semi-permanent silicone plastic format designed to last many years.

BostonSight SCLERAL Lenses – Treatment for Severe Dry Eyes

BostonSight Scleral lenses are large diameter rigid gas permeable contact lenses that provide a moisture barrier on the cornea, protecting it from dehydrating. Scleral lenses act to bathe the eye in moisture all day and are used when other therapies fail or if contact lenses are desired for vision correction in the presence of dry eye disease.

At your follow-up visit(s), your treatment plan will be modified based on improvement of signs and symptoms. Although there may be a cost associated with any in-office treatments, they are often health spending account eligible. We also offer discounted packages to keep your treatments affordable. Our goal is to treat the underlying cause of your Dry Eye Disease to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable over the long term.