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Dry Eye Disease

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Do you have dry eyes? 

Dry eye disease can affect your vision as your tear layer is the first surface that light hits as it enters your eye. An inadequate tear film can be like looking through a car windshield that has streaks left by old wiper blades. Dry eyes cannot be cured but needs to be managed effectively to keep your vision healthy for your lifetime. 

Please take the Ocular Surface Disease Index Dry Eye Questionnaire if you think you are suffering from dry eyes. 

OSDI Dry Eye Questionnaire

Have you experienced any of the following during the last week?All the timeMost of the timeHalfof the timeSome of the timeNone of the time
Eyes that are sensitive to light43210
Eyes that are gritty43210
Painful or sore eyes43210
Blurred vision43210
Poor vision43210
Have problems with your eyes limited you in performing any of the following during the last week?All the timeMost of the timeHalfof the timeSome of the timeNone of the time
Reading43210
Driving at night43210
Working with a computer43210
Watching TV43210
Have your eyes felt uncomfortable in any of the following situations during the last week?All the timeMost of the timeHalfof the timeSome of the timeNone of the time
Windy conditions43210
Places or areas with low humidity43210
Areas that are air conditioned43210

Total Score:  ________   Questions answered:  __________ 

Score: Total Score x 25 / Questions Answered __________

Mild Dry Eye Symptoms 20-30Moderate Dry Eye Symptoms 31-40Severe Dry Eye Symptoms > 40

If you have dry eye symptoms there are many different treatments available. Book an appointment with your optometrist to determine the best dry eye management plan for your eyes.

Free treatments: 

  • Increase humidity. Place a pot of water on top of your wood stove. Get a humidifier in your office.
  • Decrease wind. Airflow causes more tear evaporation. Turn off or move any venting or fans that increase airflow to your eyes. 
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods
  • Wear tight fitting googles or sunglasses when you are outdoors
  • Sleep with an eye mask on if you wake up with dry eyes 

Low-cost treatments: 

  • Preservative free eye drops. Use a good quality eye drop four times daily to restore your tear film and help heal the cornea. 
  • Lid hygiene. Use a gentle and effective eyelid cleanser to fight blepharitis and demodex and remove the biofilm on your lashes so that the lipid layer of your tears stays healthy.
  • Hot compress. Use a mask to heat your meibomian glands for 10 minutes per day. This liquifies the oil so that it is expressed more easily. Give your eyelids a massage to promote oil expression.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids for dry eyes. Omega 3s high in EPA is essential to produce meibum. They must be good quality so that they are absorbed by your body. They must be from small fish or vegan as they will have less mercury and lead toxins present higher in the food chain. 

Best treatments:

  • Intense regulated pulsed light with the E>Eye device. This is the highest technology treatment available for meibomian gland dysfunction which causes 80% of dry eye symptoms. This treatment keeps your meibomian glands healthy for up to 3 years after treatment. 
  • Punctal plugs. Good for individuals who have aqueous deficient dry eyes. 
  • Prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation. This can be a low dose steroid for a short term or Restasis for long term use. 

New Dry Eye Treatment available

Intense Regulated Pulsed Light to treat dry eyes and make your eyes healthier and whiter for up to three years after three treatments.

Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL) stimulates meibomian glands to resume secreting meibum which restores the tear film and dry eye symptoms will disappear. The treatment is non-invasive, painless, and harmless to the eye. 

The IRPL treatment is done in 3-4 sessions and the results are cumulative, meaning the dry eye relief will continue to improve with each treatment. The treatment schedule is Day 0, 15, 45 & optional day 75.  The IRPL treatment will be offered in Pemberton and Lillooet. 

Rejuvenate your eyes with IRPL to boost collagen production, tighten fine lines, get whiter eyes, and relieve dry eyes. Exfoliating eyelid facial is included before the IRPL treatment. The eyelid facial provides a deep clean to combat blepharitis & demodex which exasperate dry eyes and cause redness and itchiness along lashes.

How this technology works?

Intense Regulated Pulsed Light is emitted, causing a neurological response by liberating neurotransmitters via the parasympathetic pathway connected to the meibomian glands. This interaction results in the glands returning to normal function with increased meibum secretion quantity and quality.  IRPL has a ‘regulation’ of the flash – safe, higher quality and efficacy, no burning risk – as a completely homogenous flash. 

Over 15 clinical studies have been conducted over the past 5 years.  The studies show improvement in all dry eye symptoms and clinical improvement

Results from Clinical Studies

Xue AL, Wang MTM, Ormonde SE, Craig JP. Randomised double-masked placebo-controlled trial of the cumulative treatment efficacy profile of intense pulsed light therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction. Ocul Surf. 2020 Apr;18(2):286-297. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2020.01.003. Epub 2020 Jan 30. PMID: 32007523.

Videos of the IRPL treatment

Written by Mindy Blumberg

Dr. Mindy Blumberg is an optometrist registered with the BC College of Optometrists and is a member of the BC Doctors of Optometry. She graduated from the University of Waterloo and moved to Whistler, BC, to live in the mountains. Mindy grew up alpine ski racing and now has a special interest in sports vision. She helps with performance vision training with the Canadian Ski Cross and the BC Alpine Ski Team. Dr. Blumberg brings expertise on post-concussion vision rehabilitation and performance sports vision. She also uses these functional vision skills and vision therapy to improve reading and comprehension in children by enhancing the visual systems needed to have academic success.
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