At EYESPA, we are fully dedicated to improving and preserving sight. We offer many dry eye care services, from routine exams to treatment of Dry Eye, IPL, and Radiofrequency. Dr. Itzkow and our highly skilled team welcome you to our practice where we strive to make patients feel at home. This personal care and individualized attention is why people throughout the Winnipeg area come to EYESPA for all their Dry Eye health concerns.
“DRY EYE CAN CAUSE A VARIETY OF SYMPTOMS INCLUDING BURNING, STINGING, WATERING, REDNESS, SANDINESS OR GRITTINESS AND A VISUAL DECREASE OF UP TO 40%.”
Dry eye feels like it should be a simple thing. Your eyes are dry so you need to add moisture, right? Unfortunately, dry eye is a complex and multifactorial issue that can be a challenge to deal with. In some people it can cause stinging, in others the eyes may become red, and in another still it may cause their eyes to water, or tear. To understand dry eye you have to understand the anatomy of your tears.
“REMEMBER, DRY EYE IS A PROGRESSIVE DISEASE THAT CAN GET WORSE WITHOUT TREATMENT.”
Unfortunately dry eye can’t be cured but it can be managed. There are several different options for managing dry eye and the type of dry eye you have impacts the recommended treatment. We at Eye Spa assess your tears and identify exactly the type of dry eye you have. The vast majority of dry eye sufferers have evaporative dry eye, where the fatty component of the tears is absent or insufficient.
If you’re suffering from evaporative dry eye, and over 90% of dry eye cases are evaporative, there’s an amazing new treatment options such as Forma and Lumecca, which takes advantage of radio frequency technology and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). Originally used in dermatology to tighten skin, it found a new use in eye health as a treatment for dry eyes. Forma works by applying radio waves to your skin which penetrate deeply and warm the tissue, feeling much like a warm face massage! This softens the thickened oils deep in your glands and allows the doctor to express them, restoring their natural function as well as tightening skin and reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Lumecca harnesses the power of safe light energy applied to the eyelids to heat up the glands that are not working properly, as well as help to reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels towards the eye, that facilitate dry eye symptoms.
Absolutely! There are two different medications just for dry eye, Restasis and Xiidra, that our doctors can prescribe. These medications work best for patients with aqueous dry eye and increases your tear production by decreasing inflammation.
We can also an amniotic membrane. When applied to the eye, it can dramatically improve the symptoms of both types of dry eye over the course of a month by improving the health of your cornea (the front clear part of the eye) and essentially turning back the clock on the health of your corneal cells.
Sometimes in severe cases of dry eye, we’ll even use special types of contact lenses called scleral contacts that vault over the whole eye and hold the moisture in.
There are other options too. We recommend and carry in our office a variety of warming eye masks, lid cleansing wipes, preservative free artificial tears and nutritional supplements that help with dry eyes.
To understand your dry eyes you also need to understand a little about how complicated your tears really are so let’s look at your tear anatomy! There are three layers to your tear film. The outer layer is oily and prevents our tears from evaporating. The middle layer is watery and the bottom layer is mucous. If there's too much or not enough of any layer our tears don't function properly and we experience dryness and irritation.
Aqueous dry eye occurs when your eye stops producing as much of the watery part of our tears as we need. The result is an increased feeling of dryness! This is typically immune related but only about 10% of all dry eye cases!
Evaporative dry eye much more common, comprising about 90% of all dry eye cases. In this type of dry eye our meibomian glands, which produce the oily part of our tears, get blocked or clogged. This can happen many different ways including exposure to dust or other debris. Without enough oil, the watery part of our tears evaporates away. That's why this dry eye can improve if you go somewhere more humid. Sometimes in response our eyes over produce the watery part and our eyes water a lot, especially when going outside!
There are many different tests that we perform to make sure we’ve properly diagnosed the right type of dry eye and recommend the correct treatment options. Special dyes in the eye stain areas of the eye that are really dry and also help us check to see how stable your tear film is and how quickly it breaks up. Using a microscope, we evaluate the health of the individual meibomian glands.
If you don’t have dry eyes yet, you might be wondering how to prevent them. One good idea is to book an appointment so your optometrist can assess your eyes and do some or all of the tests we’ve already talked about. That can help to pinpoint any areas of concern and give you an exact prevention plan. More generally, make sure you take regular breaks from devices like your phone or compute. A good plan is to do hot compresses every day. Heat over the eyes for ten minutes, making sure it stays hot the whole time, helps to make sure the oils in your meibomian glands stay mobile!
It’s normal to wonder if you actually have something wrong, especially in the early stages. The easiest way to know is to book an appointment and let us assess your ocular surface!
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