What is Dry Eye?
Dry eyes can cause more than just discomfort; if left untreated, they can cause corneal damage. If you suffer from dry eyes, Central Optometry is here to help. We will not only offer you relief from your symptoms; we will also get to the root of the problem so that we can create a custom treatment plan to give you long-lasting relief.
Are you looking for sustained relief from your dry eyes?
Dry Eye Symptoms
Symptoms of dry eyes may include:
- Tired eyes
- Red eyes
- Blurry vision
- A gritty or foreign body sensation
- Stringy discharge
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased sensitivity to glare, particularly at night
- Itchy or scratchy eyes
Our Dry Eye Assessment
Dry eyes can have a variety of root causes. To determine the cause of your dry eyes, and create a tailored treatment or management plan to meet your needs, we offer comprehensive dry eye assessments. Your optometrist will perform a series of tests using cutting-edge equipment to assess your eyes and determine the best course of action.
If your eyes feel dry and irritated, please take our dry eye pre-screening quiz to determine if dry eyes may be the cause.
Our practice offers a variety of in-office treatments to address your dry eyes and give you the long-lasting relief you need.
IPL (intense pulsated light) can be used to treat dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). The procedure involves using a handheld device that emits light pulses to gently warm the meibum clogging the meibomian glands. Once the meibum has been sufficiently warmed, your optometrist will use a cotton-tipped applicator to apply gentle pressure to these glands, pushing the meibum blockages out. This application of gentle pressure is called meibomian gland expression.
Research has shown that IPL can be incredibly effective for reducing inflammation in patients with dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, and has also found that pairing IPL with meibomian gland expression is highly effective for reducing both the number and severity of dry eye symptoms. This works by both relieving symptoms and improving gland function. A 3-year retrospective study also found that IPL is effective for both reducing symptoms and improving gland function.
iLux is a handheld device used to treat dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). The device is outfitted with sterile, silicone tipped applicator, and is used to apply gentle heat and light pressure to the eyelids. This heat and pressure warms the meibum currently blocking the meibomian glands and expresses it, removing the blockage. A clinical study has found that both iLux and Lipiflow can significantly improve gland function and alleviate dry eye symptoms and produce comparable results.
Radio frequency thermistors can be used to effectively treat MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) in some patients. This small, handheld device uses radio waves to target clogged meibomian glands. The radio waves generate heat where the skin and fat layer meet, liquifying thickened meibum (whose consistency is similar curdled milk or cream cheese, as opposed to the olive oil like consistency it should have). Warming and softening the meibum allows it to be gently removed.
Lipiflow is an in-office treatment that uses a small, handheld device to treat MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction). The device applies gentle heat and light pressure, warming the thickened meibum clogging the glands so that it can be removed. This improves gland function and can offer long-term relief for MGD, and has been found to be significantly more effective than other heat-based treatments. A clinical study has found that both Lipiflow and iLux can significantly improve gland function and alleviate dry eye symptoms and produce comparable results.
BlephEx is a small, handheld device that can be used to treat blepharitis, a common condition that causes the eyelids to become irritated and inflamed. Blepharitis occurs when the oil-producing glands in the eyelids become clogged, causing swelling and irritation. Though there is no cure for blepharitis, BlephEx can be used to manage the condition. Blephex gently exfoliates your lids, removing thickened oil and other debris from the eyelid margins.
To help you enjoy long-lasting relief, your optometrist may suggest you use one of the following maintenance products in addition to your regular in-office treatments.
Bruder masks use gentle, warming heat to provide relief from dry eyes caused by MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction) and blepharitis. The mask uses heat to melt thickened meibum, improving meibomian gland function and slowing the evaporation rate of your tears.
Omega 3 (PRN)
If you suffer from either chronic or occasional dry eyes, your optometrist may suggest you increase your intake of some nutrients and minerals, such as Omega 3. Omega 3 supplements from PRN (Physician Recommended Nutraceuticals) can be used to improve tear film quality to prevent tears from evaporating too quickly. Research has shown that consuming Omega 3 fatty acids can significantly improve the quality of tears produced.
Hylo gel lubricating eye drops can be used to help ensure the surface of your eyes remains hydrated and may be prescribed if your dry eyes are chronic or particularly severe. These eye drops can help you enjoy continued comfort between in-office treatments.
Hylo dual eye drops can help safeguard your eyes from excessive tear evaporation. As their name suggests, these eye drops are designed to both stabilize your tear film and provide long-lasting protection against dryness.
Calmo eye spray is designed to help stabilize the tear film’s lipid layer, which helps prevent excessive evaporation. Calmo eye spray is made with liposomes, which act like the eye’s natural lipids. The spray is applied to closed eyes, where it mixes with the eye’s natural lipids and prevents tears from running over the lid margin or evaporating too quickly.
Thealoz duo eye drops may be prescribed to patients with moderate to severe dry eye to be used in conjunction with regular in-office treatments. As its name suggests, these eye drops contain two significant ingredients – trehalose and sodium hyaluronate. Trehalose is used to protect the eye’s epithelial cells so they can become more resistant to the everyday stress of dry environments and tear film changes that can cause dry eye. Sodium hyaluronate is used to help your tears retain the water they need to hydrate and lubricate your eye’s surface.
Hyabak eye drops are made with sodium hyaluronate, which is used to lubricate and hydrate your eye’s surface by helping prevent excessive tear evaporation. These eye drops are suitable for almost all dry eye patients, including those with moderate to severe dry eyes. They are designed to reduce or even eliminate symptoms such as dryness or grittiness, providing long-lasting relief between appointments.
Ocunox eye ointment is designed for overnight corneal protection. The cornea is particularly sensitive to drying at night since our eyes don’t typically produce tears while we are sleeping. Ocunox is designed to protect the surface of the eye and improve your tear film, providing long-lasting dry eye relief during the day.
Blephadex produces a variety of at-home dry eye maintenance products, including cleansing eyelid wipes, warming eyelid wipes, and eyelid foam to help you get long-lasting relief from your dry eyes between in-office treatment sessions.
What Causes Dry Eye
Dry eyes are caused by two main factors: inadequate tear volume and poor tear quality. Our eyes depend on a healthy and balanced tear film to stay lubricated. When we aren’t able to produce enough tears or the tears we do produce are poor quality, our eyes become dry and irritated.
Inadequate Tear Volume
Our bodies produce tears using several different glands located in and around our eyelids. As we age, our eyes aren’t able to produce as many tears as they once did, which can cause dry eyes. Some medical conditions and medications can also impact tear production.
Environmental factors can also cause dry eyes. Even if we can produce enough tears, dry air or windy weather can cause our tears to evaporate too quickly.
Poor Tear Quality
Tears are made up of three main ingredients: meibum (a type of oil), water, and mucin. Meibum is the outer tear layer, forming a thin protective barrier and preventing our tears from evaporating too quickly. Mucin helps our tears spread evenly across the surface of our eyes, protecting our corneas. If our tears evaporate too quickly, or our tears are not uniformly distributed, it can result in dry eyes.
The following clinical studies were referenced on this page.
- A New System, the LipiFlow, for the Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
- Effect of Oral Re-esterified Omega-3 Nutritional Supplementation on Dry Eyes
- Comparison of the iLUX and the LipiFlow for the Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Symptoms: A Randomized Clinical Trial
- Analysis of Cytokine Levels in Tears and Clinical Correlations After Intense Pulsed Light Treating Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
- Prospective evaluation of intense pulsed light and meibomian gland expression efficacy on relieving signs and symptoms of dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction
- Combination Therapy of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy and Meibomian Gland Expression (IPL/MGX) Can Improve Dry Eye Symptoms and Meibomian Gland Function in Patients With Refractory Dry Eye: A Retrospective Analysis
- Intense Pulsed Light Treatment for Dry Eye Disease Due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction; A 3-Year Retrospective Study
Services We Offer
From annual eye exams to dry eye therapy, we take care of our patients’ eyes no matter their needs. By tailoring our approach to each individual, we are able to better preserve your ocular health.
We understand that your life is busy, but we also know the importance of regular visits to the optometrist. That’s why we offer evening hours on Wednesdays and are open on Saturdays.
And don’t forget, our online booking system is always available. It makes finding the best appointment time and date easy.
Always a pleasure visiting central optometry. The staff are very professional and friendly from the time you walk in until the time you leave. Amazing selection of frames for everyone’s budget. From the doctors to the staff, they are always going above and beyond to make sure you leave happy.
Best optometry appointment I’ve ever had. The eye exam took no time at all and I got a year supply of contacts at a really great price! Would recommend this place if you’re looking for a new optometrist in London.
The practice is on my way home from work and was recommended to me by a friend. Hours are great! My appointment was on time and the staff was really helpful with billing and picking out new frames. I would recommend them to anyone looking for an optometrist!