Understanding Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)
Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes lack sufficient tears or produce poor-quality tears, leaving them inadequately lubricated. This is a problem because tears are essential for nourishing the cornea, ensuring a smooth optical surface, and removing foreign particles and debris.
This can result in a range of uncomfortable symptoms. If left untreated, dry eye can progress and potentially harm the cornea. Seeking timely treatment is essential for preventing further complications.
Causes of Dry Eye
Various factors can cause dry eye, each contributing to an imbalance in tear production and quality. Some common factors include:
Gender – Women are often more susceptible to dry eye due to hormonal changes associated with contraceptives, pregnancy, or menopause.
Age – The prevalence of dry eye tends to increase with age, particularly in people over 50.
Environmental Factors – Dry and windy conditions and dry air and climates can accelerate tear evaporation. Heating systems, air conditioners, fans, and hair dryers also contribute to this effect.
Medications – Certain medications, including antidepressants, decongestants, and blood pressure medications, can interfere with normal tear production.
Autoimmune Disorders – Conditions such as Sjogren’s disease and arthritis may contribute to dry eye by affecting the immune system’s regulation of tear production.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) – This condition, a leading cause of evaporative dry eye, involves the dysfunction of the meibomian glands, which produce the oil layer of tears. When these glands don’t function correctly, the tears lack a key component, leading to increased evaporation and dry eye symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye
Recognizing the signs of dry eye is essential for early intervention. Symptoms may include:
- Gritty, Itchy Sensation: Patients often describe a persistent feeling of grittiness or itching in the eyes.
- Excessive Tearing and Discharge: Dry eye can trigger excessive tearing as the eyes attempt to compensate for the lack of adequate lubrication.
- Tired or Dry Eyes: A pervasive sense of fatigue or dryness, especially after prolonged reading, screen time, or exposure to environmental conditions.
- Increased Light Sensitivity: Sensitivity to light, or photophobia, can intensify.
- Regular Use of Eye Drops: Individuals with dry eye often frequently use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.
- Discomfort Worsening Throughout the Day: Symptoms may start mildly but tend to worsen as the day progresses.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it's time to consider seeking professional care.
What Others Are Saying About Us
Innovative Dry Eye Treatments in Burnaby
At Lucent Family Eye Care, we offer advanced technologies to diagnose dry eye syndrome. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows for a thorough examination, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of your eye health.
Instead of just offering quick fixes, we focus on creating individualized solutions. Among our treatments, we prioritize medicated and anti-inflammatory eye drops and heated compresses to alleviate symptoms. Notably, we've moved away from conventional punctal plugs and now offer cutting-edge options like radiofrequency (RF) and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapies, which aim to address the root causes of dry eye, providing more effective and sustained relief.
Radiofrequency (RF) Therapy
RF therapy involves the application of radiofrequency energy to targeted areas around the eyes. This non-invasive procedure stimulates the meibomian glands, which produce the oil layer of tears. By enhancing the function of these glands, RF therapy helps improve the quality of tears, preventing rapid evaporation and maintaining optimal eye lubrication. The treatment is painless, with most patients reporting a gentle warming sensation during the session.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy
IPL therapy uses light pulses to target dysfunctional oil glands and inflammation around the eyes. While IPL is often associated with cosmetic procedures, its application for dry eye treatment is gaining recognition, with the clogged oil glands absorbing the pulses of light, which promotes the free flow of oil and fosters a healthier environment for the eyes. IPL therapy is non-invasive, and patients typically experience minimal discomfort, if any, during the procedure.
Learn More about Dry Eye Syndrome | FAQ
While nearly every eye doctor provides dry eye services, making the decision to find a dry eye professional that much more difficult, we encourage you to contact us for a phone consultation.
We’re happy to share with you information about our dry eye program, and the type of results we’ve provided other patients for significant lasting improvements within a relatively short period of time. Contact us to find out how we can help you relieve your dry eye symptoms and start managing your eye health successfully, today.