Do your eyes often sting or itch? Notice your vision is blurry or your eyes seem to be leaking mucus? You may be suffering from a very common condition known as dry eyes. In fact, over 6 million people in Canada suffer from dry eye. Our eyes are designed to produce tears at varying levels. However, some people do not generate enough tears to keep their eyes healthy and hydrated. Various factors such as lifestyle, health and even medications can increase a patient’s risk of developing dry eye syndrome.
Dry Eye Assessment
Not sure if you suffer from dry eyes? During your comprehensive Dry Eye Assessment at Thornhill Vision Care, your eye doctor will be able to diagnose dry eye. Diagnostic tests will measure the quantity and quality of your tears and image your tear glands.
At Thornhill Vision Care we offer various dry eye treatment options which include iLUX® and Tempsure Envi™, as well as therapies at home. Avoiding dry air, wind, allergies and tobacco smoke can also help to reduce symptoms.
The most common type of dry eye is evaporative dry eye. Evaporative dry eye means that the tears do not have enough oil. Evaporative dry eye is commonly caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
MGD is a condition where the glands that keep your tear film oily become blocked. This blockage causes your tears to evaporate more easily and dries your eyes out more quickly. It is a chronic condition and will worsen over time if it’s not treated properly.
Patients with MGD will experience symptoms such as irritation, grittiness and a burning sensation. There are many services offered by dry eye doctors to help treat MGD. One proven treatment for MGD is the iLUX® MGD treatment system. Let’s go over more details about this treatment.
iLUX® is a handheld device that is designed to heat and apply gentle pressure on the eyelids to open up blocked meibomian glands (the oil glands).. This makes it easier for the glands to naturally release their oil which is so important for a good quality tear film
The device has a specially designed eyelid smart tip that gently delivers treatment directly to the blocked glands while protecting the surface of the eye. Your dry eye doctor has complete control with iLUX® and administers the therapeutic effect.
The treatment takes approximately 8-12 minutes for both eyes. First your dry eye doctor will assess your eyelids to determine the treatment zones. Next, your eyelid will be held between the soft biocompatible pads of the iLUX® device. Then the therapeutic light-based heat will begin to warm the blocked glands to a safe temperature to soften and release the oil.
As the oil melts, your doctor has the ability to apply additional heat or pressure depending on your needs. With gentle pressure and heat, the oil will be expressed from the glands and the treatment is complete.
The iLUX® device has been shown to significantly reduce dry eye symptoms such as gritty eyes and irritation. With healthy oil being released, it can now protect the tears from drying up or evaporating.
In a clinical study, patients’ meibomian gland scores were three times better two weeks post-treatment and four times better at four weeks compared to baseline.