Dry Eye Disease Clinic
Do you think that you may be suffering from dry eyes? Are you looking for a qualified dry eye doctor near you that can provide comfortable and efficient treatment? Perspective Optometry provides assistance for dry eye in Vancouver.
We understand that dry eye syndrome can quickly become extremely uncomfortable. That’s why we work diligently to provide you with fast-acting solutions that will provide relief from your condition.
Furthermore, we understand that external factors may play into your discomfort. We work with you to understand the cause of your dry eyes while providing a long-term solution.
Dry Eye Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that affects millions of people — women more often than men. In some instances, it is characterized by dry, irritated eyes due to a lack of lubricating tears. Surprisingly, it can also lead to excessively watery eyes due to tears lacking the proper balance of mucous, water and oil to coat the eyes properly.
Chronic dry eyes can lead to damage to the eye’s surface, an increased risk of eye infections and, eventually, the inability to produce tears. Left untreated, severe forms of dry eye can cause permanent damage.
How do I know if I have dry eye syndrome?
Symptoms of dry eyes may include burning and stinging. A foreign body sensation, like sand being in the eye, is often encountered. Reflex tearing may be triggered, causing excessively watery eyes. Sometimes, the redness of the eye is experienced.
When looking in a mirror, the eyes may seem to have lost their normal clearness and luster. A very common symptom of dry eye disease is blurry vision: your eyes need a healthy tear film to bend and focus light properly. The lens of the eye does not do all the work of focusing, the tear film plays a role and if that is deficient, your vision will not be clear.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome, find an optometry clinic near you that will provide assistance. Perspective Optometry is happy to serve the Vancouver area with our innovative dry eye syndrome solutions!
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome can be caused by a variety of different factors. Most commonly, environment, tear drainage, gland dysfunction, contact lenses, or aging can contribute to dry eye syndrome.
Sunny, dry, or windy weather, heaters, air conditioners, and arid high altitudes increase the evaporation of tears from the surface of your eyes. You may experience dry eye symptoms while viewing television, computer screens, or while reading.
If you have too much tear drainage, you may experience dry eye symptoms and related congestion of the nose, throat, and sinuses.
Tear production is regulated by glands in the eyes. If these glands are blocked or not working properly, your eyes will not be able to produce healthy tears. Some treatments target these glands to get them working properly.
Malfunctions of the meibomian glands often cause dry eye disease. These glands normally secrete an oily substance that forms the lipid layer of the healthy tear film. If this layer is deficient, tears evaporate from the surface of the eye too quickly, causing eyes to dry out.
Assessing the health of the meibomian glands is an important part of the dry eye examinations that we perform on patents with suspected dry eye disease.
Contact Lens Wear
Contact lens wear increases tear evaporation and related dry eye symptoms. Dryness may result in protein deposits on the lens, eye irritation, pain, infection or sensitivity to contact lens solutions. Dry eye symptoms are the number one reason people stop wearing contact lenses.
Tear production gradually decreases with age. At age 65, the tear glands produce about 40 percent of the lubricating tears they produced at age 18. Decreased tear production may cause eye irritation and excess tearing or watery eyes.
Tear production may be reduced if you take certain medications including decongestants, antihistamines, oral contraceptives, tranquilizers and diuretics. If you are taking any medication, ask your doctor if it contributes to your dry eye condition.
Some special health problems can result in side effects of dry eye syndrome — such as arthritis, diabetes, thyroid abnormality, asthma or an autoimmune condition known as Sjörgren’s Syndrome, which affects mostly middle-aged women. Also, women experiencing hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause, may contract dry eye.
Can dry eye syndrome affect my ability to wear contact lenses?
Yes. Dry Eye Syndrome is the leading cause of contact lens intolerance or discomfort. Contacts can cause tears to evaporate from the eyes, causing irritation, protein deposits, infection and pain.
How is dry eye syndrome treated?
A common treatment of dry eye syndrome includes the use of artificial tears or artificial tear ointments. Prescription treatment options are available.
Other treatments for dry eye syndrome include the following:
- Wearing special eyewear, such as goggles or moisture chambers.
- Temporary plugs in the tear drain (punctum) to allow the eyes time to gain full use of the lubricating tears before they are drained away from the eye.
- Laser treatment or minor surgery to close the punctum permanently.
- Diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction followed by a range of options to rehabilitate the glands, including radiofrequency stimulation, debridement/scaling, and thermal pulsation.
- Prescription medications to increase the secretion of the aqueous component of the tear film.