What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye can make your eyes feel uncomfortable and irritated, and left untreated, dry eye can cause corneal damage.
If you suffer from symptoms of dry eye, Bluewater Optometry is here for you. We can perform a comprehensive dry eye consultation to get tot he root cause of your symptoms and create a personalized treatment plan that works for your eyes and lifestyle.
Find relief sooner by booking your appointment with us today.
Symptoms of dry eye may include:
- Eye fatigue
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred/double vision
- Stringy mucus in/around eyes
- Foreign body sensation in the eye
Our Dry Eye Assessment
Understanding the cause of your dry eye is the first step in effectively treating your symptoms. Your optometrist will perform a series of tests using advanced diagnostic technology to assess your eyes and determine the right treatment for you.
We offer a variety of in-office treatments to treat dry eye and help you find long-lasting relief.
IPL (intense pulsed light) can be used to treat dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). The procedure involves using a handheld device that emits light pulses to gently warm the meibum clogging the meibomian glands. Once the meibum has been sufficiently warmed, your optometrist will use a cotton-tipped applicator to apply gentle pressure to these glands, pushing the meibum blockages out. This application of gentle pressure is called meibomian gland expression.
BlephEx is a small, handheld device that can be used to treat blepharitis, a common condition that causes the eyelids to become irritated and inflamed. Blepharitis occurs when the oil-producing glands in the eyelids become clogged, causing swelling and irritation. Though there is no cure for blepharitis, BlephEx can be used to manage the condition. Blephex gently exfoliates your lids, removing thickened oil and other debris from the eyelid margins.
Radio frequency thermistors can be used to effectively treat MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) in some patients. This small, handheld device uses radio waves to target clogged meibomian glands. The radio waves generate heat where the skin and fat layer meet, liquifying thickened meibum (whose consistency is similar curdled milk or cream cheese, as opposed to the olive oil like consistency it should have). Warming and softening the meibum allows it to be gently removed.
LipiFlow is an in-office treatment that uses a small, handheld device to treat (meibomian gland dysfunction). The device applies gentle heat and light pressure, warming the thickened meibum clogging the glands so that it can be removed. This improves gland function and can offer long-term relief for MGD, and has been found to be highly effective for treating dry eye symptoms. One study has found that both Lipiflow and iLux can significantly improve gland function and alleviate dry eye symptoms and produce comparable results.
iLux is a handheld device used to treat dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). The device is outfitted with sterile, silicone tipped applicator, and is used to apply gentle heat and light pressure to the eyelids. This heat and pressure warms the meibum currently blocking the meibomian glands and expresses it, removing the blockage. One study found that both iLux and Lipiflow can significantly improve gland function and alleviate dry eye symptoms and produce comparable results.
Not All Omega-3s are Equal
Specific high-quality Omega-3, like PRN D3, can make a significant difference when dealing with dry eye. Watch this video to learn more.
To help you enjoy long-lasting relief, we may suggest using one of the following maintenance products in addition to your regular in-office treatments.
Bruder masks use gentle, warming heat to provide relief from dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) and blepharitis. The mask uses heat to melt thickened meibum, improving meibomian gland function and slowing the evaporation rate of your tears.
Omega 3 (PRN)
If you suffer from either chronic or occasional dry eyes, your optometrist may suggest you increase your intake of some nutrients and minerals, such as Omega 3. Omega 3 supplements from PRN (Physician Recommended Nutraceuticals) can be used to improve tear film quality to prevent tears from evaporating too quickly. Research has shown that consuming Omega 3 fatty acids can significantly improve the quality of tears produced.Click here for more information
Hylo gel lubricating eye drops can be used to help ensure the surface of your eyes remains hydrated and may be prescribed if your dry eyes are chronic or particularly severe. These eye drops can help you enjoy continued comfort between in-office treatments.
Hylo dual eye drops can help safeguard your eyes from excessive tear evaporation. As their name suggests, these eye drops are designed to both stabilize your tear film and provide long-lasting protection against dryness.
Calmo eye spray is designed to help stabilize the tear film’s lipid layer, which helps prevent excessive evaporation. Calmo eye spray is made with liposomes, which act like the eye’s natural lipids. The spray is applied to closed eyes, where it mixes with the eye’s natural lipids and prevents tears from running over the lid margin or evaporating too quickly.
Thealoz duo eye drops may be prescribed to patients with moderate to severe dry eye to be used in conjunction with regular in-office treatments. As its name suggests, these eye drops contain two significant ingredients – trehalose and sodium hyaluronate. Trehalose is used to protect the eye’s epithelial cells so they can become more resistant to the everyday stress of dry environments and tear film changes that can cause dry eye. Sodium hyaluronate is used to help your tears retain the water they need to hydrate and lubricate your eye’s surface.
Hyabak eye drops are made with sodium hyaluronate, which is used to lubricate and hydrate your eye’s surface by helping prevent excessive tear evaporation. These eye drops are suitable for almost all dry eye patients, including those with moderate to severe dry eyes. They are designed to reduce or even eliminate symptoms such as dryness or grittiness, providing long-lasting relief between appointments.
Ocunox eye ointment is designed for overnight corneal protection. The cornea is particularly sensitive to drying at night since our eyes don’t typically produce tears while we are sleeping. Ocunox is designed to protect the surface of the eye and improve your tear film, providing long-lasting dry eye relief during the day.
Blephadex produces a variety of at-home dry eye maintenance products, including cleansing eyelid wipes, warming eyelid wipes, and eyelid foam to help you get long-lasting relief from your dry eyes between in-office treatment sessions.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye is caused by 2 main factors: inadequate tear volume or poor tear quality. Our eyes depend on a healthy, balanced tear film to stay lubricated. When we aren’t able to produce enough tears or the tears we do produce are of poor quality, our eyes become dry and irritated.
Inadequate Tear Volume
Our bodies produce tears using several different glands located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes aren’t able to produce as many tears as they once did, which can cause dry eyes. Some medical conditions and medications can also impact tear production.
Environmental factors can also cause dry eyes. Even if we can produce enough tears, dry air or windy weather can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly.
Poor Tear Quality
Tears are made up of 3 main ingredients: oil, mucus, and water.
Meibum (the oil) is the outer tear layer, forming a thin protective barrier and preventing our tears from evaporating too quickly. Mucin helps our tears spread evenly across the surface of our eyes, protecting our corneas. If our tears evaporate too quickly, or our tears are not uniformly distributed, it can result in dry eyes.
The following clinical studies were referenced on this page.
- A New System, the LipiFlow, for the Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
- Effect of Oral Re-esterified Omega-3 Nutritional Supplementation on Dry Eyes
- Comparison of the iLUX and the LipiFlow for the Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Trial
- Analysis of Cytokine Levels in Tears and Clinical Correlations After Intense Pulsed Light Treating Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
- Prospective evaluation of intense pulsed light and meibomian gland expression efficacy on relieving signs and symptoms of dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction
- Combination Therapy of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy and Meibomian Gland Expression (IPL/MGX) Can Improve Dry Eye Symptoms and Meibomian Gland Function in Patients With Refractory Dry Eye: A Retrospective Analysis
- Intense Pulsed Light Treatment for Dry Eye Disease Due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction; A 3-Year Retrospective Study
Our Eye Care Services
Eye exams are essential for maintaining your ocular health. Learn more about the importance of eye care and how we can help.
Children’s eyes are constantly growing and require specialized care. Give your child the best start possible with eye exams at Bluewater Optometry.
Contact lenses are an excellent alternative to eyeglasses. Learn about comprehensive contact lens exams and fittings for crystal clear vision.
Digital eye strain is a common symptom of our reliance on digital devices. Learn about the warning signs of this condition and how to mitigate them.
Come See Us Today
We’re on the corner of Exmouth Street and Napier Street, right across from Norm Perry Park.
Our Address251 Exmouth Street
Sarnia, ON N7T 5M7
We are closed for all statutory holidays, and long weekends.
Hours are subject to change without notice.