Using the Most Advanced Technology to Diagnose & Treat Dry Eye
Dry eye is a condition that affects almost half of adults. Peninsula Lifetime Eyecare Centre is uniquely equipped to diagnose and treat dry eye. Our wide range of diagnostic and treatment tools enables us to administer the most effective course of treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eye can occur as a result of two different issues: insufficient tear production and poor tear quality.
Insufficient Tear Production
The human body creates tears to lubricate the eye and keep it clear of debris. When the body does not produce the appropriate volume of tears, it results in dry eye; causing symptoms such as irritation or discomfort, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, “gritty” sensation in the eyes, and discharge from the eyes. This type is the least common.
Poor Tear Quality
Tears are primarily made of water and a mixture of oils. These oils prevent tears from immediately evaporating from the surface of the eye; allowing the moisture time to lubricate the eye tissues. When the body produces tears with insufficient oil levels (in essence, tears of poor quality), the tears evaporate before they are able to work, leaving the eye feeling irritated and dry.
Peninsula Lifetime Eyecare Centre is the only clinic to offer some of the most effective dry eye therapy in the greater Victoria area. Our optometrists in Sidney will provide you with the best possible care for your dry eye symptoms by tailoring the treatment plan to your symptoms, needs and, diagnosis.
LipiFlow uses a gentle combination of heat and pressure to express the meibomian glands. This 12-minute procedure reduces and eliminates the blockage that may be preventing the meibomian glands from functioning properly, which leads to a better more consistent quality tear film. This remarkable piece of medical technology offers symptom relief and restoration of gland function.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL is a treatment involving a high-energy wavelength of light targeted to melt and release built up oils blocked by abnormal blood vessels causing inflammation of the meibomian glands. It is also effective in decreasing Demodex mites which stimulates infections and leads to inflammation.
IPL, a commonly used dermatology treatment used to address sun spots, acne scars and rosacea, is now available to address chronic dry eye disease and meibomian gland disease. Each treatment takes about 20 minutes to perform and while patients often notice substantial improvements of their dry eye symptoms after 1 or 2 initial treatments, we recommend a series of 4 treatments, spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
Radiofrequency Therapy (RF)
RF uses gentle electromagnetic waves on the surrounding skin near the eyelids to warm and soften the meibomian glands so they better express oil critical for preventing tear evaporation on the eye surface. RF will heat up the skin around the eye area for over 3 minutes per treatment area to stimulate new collagen fiber development. As a result, this typically reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by “tightening” the skin. This procedure takes about 20-30 minutes to perform and a series of 4 initial treatments is recommended, spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
Peninsula Lifetime Eyecare Centre is the only practice in the Greater Victoria Area to offer Lipiflow, IPL and RF technology.
Zocular Eyelid System Treatment (ZEST)
Good eyelid hygiene can significantly reduce or prevent dry eye. The Zest treatment is a deep and gentle exfoliation and cleaning of the eyelids. An okra-based solution in combination with a micro sponge applicator is used to gently cleanse the eyelids and softly exfoliate any dead cells, debris and biofilms that can accumulate on the lid margins and contribute to inflammation, infection and irritation.
Gland & Lid Debridement
The term debridement refers to a process of scaling or exfoliation. This process assists in clearing away any dead skin cells or hardened meibum from the opening of the meibomian gland, facilitating proper flow, and therefore, better quality tears. This also removes harmful biofilms that are overwhelming the normal anatomy and physiology of the lids.
Prescription Eye Drops
For patients with chronic dry eye, increasing the number of tears can reduce inflammation on the eye’s surface. Although poor tear production may be the result of blocked meibomian glands, the tear-producing glands of the eyes, our optometrists may prescribe medicated eye drops like Restasis or Xiidra to address a tear insufficiency.
Restasis is a prescription eye drop, 0.05% cyclosporine, that helps your body’s natural ability to produce more tears, thereby keeping your eyes feeling moist and comfortable. Restasis is an immunomodulator that works to control inflammation caused by dry eyes. By reducing the inflammation, your eyes will slowly improve their ability to produce tears naturally. Patients who use RESTASIS® eventually rely less on artificial eye drops as their natural production of tears improves.
Xiidra® is another prescription eye drop, a lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5%, used for treating dry eye symptoms. The prescription for most people will be a drop in each eye twice a day. Xiidra aims to stop a chemical chain reaction in the cells. Once the eye drop enters the eye, the solution binds with certain proteins in the cells that prevent tear production. The solution blocks any signals from these proteins, which helps restore your natural tear production. In addition, Xiidra can alleviate dry eye symptoms like redness, itching, burning, inflammation, and eye pain.
Call our optometry practice in Sidney, BC for dry eye exam and eye health evaluation.
Without proper lubrication, the cornea and conjunctiva can develop imperfections, abrasions and ulcers. When diagnosing dry eye, we may administer different topical dyes that will highlight tissues that are under stress. These dyes will stain cells that have lost vitality, mucous, and any corneal abrasions or ulcers; making them much more apparent. This allows us to most accurately detect any damage that is occurring so we can then treat and monitor the treatment effects.
We may instill fluorescein (one of the dyes used in corneal staining) into your tear film. With the help of a cobalt blue light we will be able to watch the outermost layer disintegrate and record the time that it took to happen. If the tear film evaporates too quickly, it is a good indication of poor tear quality.
To test your tear volume, we will very gently immerse the tip of a device called an SM Tube in your tear film. The coloured interior of the tube will indicate the volume of your tears, allowing us to assess whether or not your eyes are producing enough tears. This test takes approximately 5 seconds to conduct.
When functioning properly, the meibomian glands secrete oils or meibum to keep tears from evaporating too quickly. The Korb Meibomian Gland Evaluator allows us to observe the functionality of the gland and assess whether meibomian gland dysfunction is at the root of your dry eye as it is in the majority of cases.
Using our Oculus Keratograph, we are able to obtain a clear view of the meibomian glands overall health and structure. This allows us to detect any loss, shortening or distortion of the meibomian glands, their ducts and associated structures. Since the meibomian glands are responsible for the majority of dry eye complaints and their health is vital to tear film stability and effectiveness, this test is extremely helpful in directing our treatment plans.
Dry Eye Assessments
Not every case of dry eye is the same. The underlying causes of dry eye disease vary from meibomian gland dysfunction, poor tear quality, eye allergies, contact lens overuse, or symptoms associated with another eye disease, condition, or medication. All of these factors require a dry eye assessment with our eye doctor in Sidney, BC.
Peninsula Lifetime Eyecare Centre boasts one of the largest dry eye clinics in the greater Victoria area to test the health of your eyes for a thorough evaluation of your unique case of dry eyes. In addition to our diagnostic technology, our eye doctor has access to a wide range of leading dry eye treatments to accurately treat your symptoms and providing fast & effective relief. Treatment can vary from medicated eye drops, utilizing Bruder mask, recommended natural supplements, and, in moderate to advanced cases of dry eye disease, LipiFlow, RF and IPL procedures may be advised.
Ready for your dry eye assessment? Book your dry eye consultation with us.
Call our optometry practice in Sidney, BC for dry eye exam and eye health evaluation.