Dry Eye is a common condition that many of us suffer with especially in Calgary’s dry climate and high altitude. Many of us find that eye drops are not providing enough help with the problem. Symptoms of dry eye usually include eye redness, a gritty or sanding feeling in your eyes, burning, fluctuation in vision where at times you can see well and other times it’s hard to focus, and excessive tearing is also common with dry eye. Many of these symptoms are also common with allergies but a way to distinguish between the two is if you’re eyes are itchy and you notice these symptoms only happen seasonally than it’s probably an allergy causing the issue.
The most common way to treat dry eye is using drop such as artificial tears or artificial gels or prescription drops such as Restasis, which can help you to make more tears. However, there are a certain number of people where these types of treatments just aren’t enough. One of the biggest causes of dry eye is that sufferers do not create enough oil, our eyes are coated with both water and oil and that oil sits on top of the water and helps prevent that water from evaporating, so if you don’t have good oil it doesn’t matter how many drops you put into your eyes you are still going to be symptomatic. A lot of the recent treatments are now focused on improving the production of our oil as opposed to just replacing the water or tears.
There are some at home treatments you can try for dry eye which include the application of heat onto the eyelids and taking natural oil supplements such as fish oil and flax seed oil which all help us make better oil. These may still not be enough for people but at Crescent Heights Dry Eye Clinic we offer several new treatments, one that we are very excited about which is Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy. The treatment is a five to ten minute office procedure with no downtime so you can go back to the office or drive right away and it consists of a number of light treatments that are placed on your eyelid. By placing the lights on your eyelids it provides heat, which helps to break up and loosen thicker oil deposits that might be clogging normal oil flow. The other thing that it does is to help shrink blood vessels in the eyelids which may cause inflammation which prevents our tissues from working well so by diminishing the inflammation that gets to the eye we have better functioning oil glands which will help with symptom improvement.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy, a common dermatology treatment used to address rosacea, sun damage, and acne scarring of the skin, is now available to address chronic dry eye disease and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction of the eyelids. IPL Therapy for dry eye is one of the most ground-breaking approaches to treating dry eye disease, and the advanced dry eye clinic at Crescent Heights Optometry.