Dry eye clinic – Clinique d’optométrie de Buckingham

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1. WHAT IS DRY EYE SYNDROME?

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic, progressive disease. It occurs when someone cannot make adequate lubrication (the quantity or quality of their tears is insufficient) which results in discomfort. Our eyecare professionals can diagnose this condition and build a personalized treatment plan that can help improve your quality of life and visual well-being.

Dry eye syndrome is an increasingly common condition that affects about 30% of the population.

Symptoms include :

Symptoms

Think you suffer from dry eye syndrome? Book a preliminary consultation at the clinic with us.

What causes dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome can occur in patients of all ages and can be caused by a variety of factors such as the environment or increased screen time. It can also be linked to wearing contact lenses or occur after eye surgery.

At our clinic, our team will be able to help identify the factors at the root of your dry eye syndrome. We’ll also be able to determine the most suitable solutions to help you increase your visual comfort and soothe your dry eyes.

2. HOW DO WE ESTABLISH A DIAGNOSIS?

To identify which products or treatments can make a difference for you, our clinic’s team will first make sure to pinpoint a diagnosis. This will enable us to specifically target your needs.

Our eyecare professionals will take into account every factor that has an impact on your visual health. They’ll then be able to evaluate your condition and come up with a diagnosis using cutting-edge tests and equipment.

For informational purposes, here are a few images captured by the meibography technique. With the help of these images, your eyecare professional will be able to assess if the structure of your meibomian glands (glands that line your inner eyelids) is normal or dysfunctional. Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the main causes of dry eye syndrome. Our team will then be able to determine if your glands secrete enough oil and if this oil is enough to keep the water of your tears from drying out. They’ll then determine the best approach and treatment plan adapted to your specific condition.

TRANSILLUMINATION OF THE MEIBOMIAN GLANDS
Glandes de meibomius sans modification structurale
No observable structural changes
Dilatation des canauz excréteurs, troncature et séborhée
Dilatation of the excretory ducts, truncation and seborrheoa
Troncature et séborhée importantes glandes de meibomius
Significant truncation and seborrhoea
TRANSILLUMINATION OF THE SURFACE OF THE MEIBOMIAN GLANDS
Glandes de meibomius sans modification structurale
No observable structural changes
Dilatation des canaux excréteurs, troncature et séborhée
Dilatation of excretory ducts, truncation and seborrheoa
Troncature et séborhée importantes glandes de meibomius
Significant truncation and seborrheoa

Source: Johnson & Johnson

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3. WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ?

At-home treatments

Good visual hygiene is the key to alleviating dry eye symptoms and keeping your eyes healthy.

Dirt and debris on the edge of your eyelids can penetrate the lacrimal film and cover your eye. This will cause red eyes and irritation.

Poor eye hygiene can also lead to Demodex face mites in your hair follicles. They can exacerbate inflammation and dry eye by obstructing the sebaceous glands at the base of your lashes.

Here’s what your optometrist might recommend to keep your eyelids and lashes clean:

  • Eye mask
    • There are various types of masks (hot and cold) available. Your optometrist might recommend you wear a mask with your eyes shut for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and night several times a week.
  • Cleansing wipes
    • Cleansing wipes might be recommended by your optometrist as well. Simply use circular motions to clean the edges of your eyelids and lashes.
  • Hypochlorous acid
    • Hypochlorous acid can be spritzed on closed eyes. Once you’ve sprayed the liquid, keep your eyes shut for at least 10 to 15 seconds.

It’s also important to keep your eyes lubricated. There are myriad products available to soothe dry eyes such as drops (artificial tears), gels, and ointments.

Once your optometrist has evaluated your situation, they’ll be able to point you towards the products that can alleviate your dry eyes. They’ll also implement a follow up plan or recommend more advanced treatments, if necessary.

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In-clinic treatments

In addition to the products that might be prescribed by your optometrist, our team has access to cutting-edge technology and treatments.

ZEST

ZEST (Zocular Eyelid System Treatment) exfoliates eyelids and lashes. This gentle, simple, and painless procedure helps treat eyelid inflammation caused by blepharitis or Demodex face mites and provides immediate relief for irritation and dry eye symptoms.

After the deep cleanse, the ZEST gel is rinsed off with a saline solution. This treatment can be repeated as needed.

Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency is an innovative treatment that unclogs meibomian glands in order to restore the oily layer of tears (eye lubrication) and prevent them from quickly evaporating.

There are many benefits to this treatment:

  • Short, safe, painless sessions
  • Immediately relieves your symptoms
  • Aesthetic benefits (firmer skin, reduces wrinkles, crow’s feet, and fine lines)
  • Can be adapted to your specific needs

Because this treatment is carried out by your optometrist, it is personalized in line with your specific needs. It’s also a treatment that can be done on its own or associated with an IPL treatment for more advanced care.

IPL (Intense pulsed light)

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a therapy that uses pulsed light on your eyelids to stimulate facial tissue. The goal is to manage inflammation caused by dry eye syndrome for cases of meibomian gland dysfunction or recurrent chalazion (accumulation of sebum which results in the swelling of the upper eyelid).

Nearly 86% of patients with dry eye syndrome suffer from meibomian gland dysfunction. As a result, IPL treatment can be used to treat most moderate to severe cases of dry eye syndrome.

The benefits of IPL treatment:

  • Short, painless, safe procedure
  • Efficient for treating dry eye, blepharitis, or ocular rosacea
  • Reduces the number of Demodex face mites and bacteria around the eyelids
  • Aesthetic benefits (reduces redness, sunspots, and hyperpigmentation)
  • Can be adapted to your specific needs

The intensity of the light, the length of the waves, and the frequency and duration of the pulse can be adjusted to the severity of the condition and to the specific needs of each patient.

Punctal plugs

Punctal plugs are another option that can counter the effects of dry eye syndrome.

These tiny devices are inserted by your eyecare professional into the eye’s tear duct. They are designed to retain moisture on the eye for as long as possible by preventing the tears from draining away too quickly.

Because the plugs slow the drainage of tears, they are generally used as a complementary solution to other types of treatments for dry eye syndrome. Punctal plugs can maximize your visual comfort if your eyecare professional determines that your eyes produce the right quality of tears.

Bouchons lacrimaux i-med Pharma

Punctal plugs. Source: I-Med Pharma

Prescription medication

In some cases, your eyecare professional might prescribe medication to alleviate certain symptoms of your dry eye syndrome.

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Our tips

In order to help you soothe your dry eye symptoms, our team shares which habits to adopt and which factors to keep in mind for optimal visual comfort.

Lifestyle

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day and avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Avoid dusty or windy locations

Screens

  • Reduce your screen time (computer, laptop, cellphone, tablet, TV)
  • Take regular breaks: focus on a distant object and do blinking exercises
  • Reduce the brightness of your screens
  • Try positioning the top of your screen at your eye level, this will cause you to look slightly downwards

At home

  • Use a humidifier (ideal relative humidity for your eyes is 50%)
  • Use an air conditioning unit and heater only when necessary:
    • Ideal temperature in the summer: 24.5°C.
    • Ideal temperature in the winter: 22°C.

In your room

  • Avoid pointing ceiling fans or portable fans at your face
  • Wash your pillowcases at least once a week in hot water
  • If you have Demodex blepharitis and share your bed with someone else, they should also be evaluated and treated if needed
  • If you have seasonal or pet allergies, avoid sleeping with your pet

In a car

  • Point your ventilation system towards your feet (avoid directing the air flow towards your face)

Makeup

  • Avoid wearing waterproof makeup
  • Avoid wearing powder makeup
  • Avoid applying liner on the inner edge of your lashes
  • Avoid liquid makeup removers
    • Use a makeup removing cloth with water
    • Use pure argan oil if needed
  • Avoid using polyurethane sponges to apply cosmetic products
  • Mascara :
    • Use a hypoallergenic mascara that leaves no residue
    • Apply only on the edge of the upper lash line
    • Change your bottle of mascara every 3 months
    • Avoid nylon brushes

For more information about dry eye syndrome or treatments available to improve your visual comfort, contact our team. We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment in our clinic to assess your needs.

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Do you have more questions about eye dry syndrome? Here are some articles you might find interesting :

Working from Home, Another cause of Dry Eyes?

Living With Eye Dry Syndrome

Do You Suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome

I-MED Pharma: Canadian Innovation to Soothe Sore Eyes


Clinique d’optométrie de Buckingham

819 281-4747
[email protected]
110, Georges Street, #11, Gatineau, Québec  J8M 1A2