Are your eyes chronically itchy, scratchy, red, or feel as though there is grit in them? Are your eyes prone to watering or feeling like they are burning or stinging? Do you have difficulty wearing contact lenses due to discomfort? Any of these may be a sign that you have dry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). This eye condition is very common among Albertans, with nearly 90% of all Albertans reporting at least some form of dry eye symptoms. If you suspect you have DES, a dry eye clinic can help provide you with a diagnosis and can start administering dry eye treatment such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment to relieve symptoms.
Dry Eye Clinic Treatment
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eyes can be caused by a blockage of oils in the meibomian glands. When these oils solidify and create a blockage, it can either prevent enough tears from releasing in the eye or it can alter the composition of the tears. If tears do not have the right balance of fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus, they will evaporate too quickly and the eyes will be left with neither lubricating oils nor saline tears. DES is suspected to be made worse by
- Changes in hormones.
- Dry climates.
- Allergic reactions.
- Inflamed eyelid glands.
- Certain medications.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Eyelid problems.
- A lack of blinking (This can be from medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or it can be from long periods of focusing. Extended screen time tends to contribute to the worsening of dry eye symptoms).
How Does Intense Pulsed Light Treatment Prevent DES Symptoms?
IPL is used to break up the clogged oils within the meibomian glands. This form of dry eye treatment uses intense bursts of light that are converted into heat energy. IPL uses more than one type of light wavelength so that oils can be broken up and so that blood vessels in the facial tissue near the eyes can be treated. IPL helps to eliminate blood vessels that contribute to inflammation while decreasing the amount of pro-inflammatory mediators that contribute to dry eyes. The light energy produced by IPL is also absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells, which helps stimulate cellular functions and leads to boosted immune responses of the cells.
IPL helps to reduce dry eye symptoms by restoring the flow of oils so that tear composition can be corrected and the tears no longer evaporate too quickly. IPL has been shown to be a highly effective form of dry eye treatment that prevents dry eye symptoms longer than other forms of dry eye relief, such as lubricating eye drops.
IPL Treatment From The My Optometry Dry Eye Clinic
If you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome, the My Optometrist dry eye clinic can offer relief. Our advanced dry eye clinic offers top-of-the-line dry eye technology, including IPL services. Our professional Calgary optometrists can diagnose your DES and quickly begin treatment, starting with instant dry eye relief recommendations as well as more advanced and long-lasting solutions through the Dry Eye Clinic. To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us or fill out the online contact form.
Q: How long do the results from IPL treatments last?
A: It is recommended you have four sessions to notice sustained improvement. Appointments are conducted every month and results typically last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years after a fourth treatment.
Q: Does IPL treatment hurt?
A: IPL is non-invasive. You may experience slight discomfort and redness in the treated areas, but same-day recovery is normal. Your optometrist will advise you of the possible side effects such as:
- Mild mucus discharge
- Slight inflammation
- Lightening of the skin for darker-toned individuals
- Slight discomfort
- Minimal redness
- Possible hair loss at brow and forehead. These symptoms will go away minutes post-treatment.
Q: What should I do if I think I have dry eye syndrome?
A: For immediate at-home dry eye relief treatment, you can get eye drops, ointments, and relief masks. If you still cannot find relief, book an appointment at the My Optometrist Dry Eye Clinic in Calgary or Three Hills. Our knowledgeable team will help you figure out your diagnosis, the severity of your dry eye syndrome, and what steps to take next.