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Dry Eyes

Dry eyes have been a long-standing concern with visual medical care, especially in people over 40. Millions are affected by dry eyes, including in Victoria, BC, which is why the symptom has frequently been associated with growing older and wear and tear on the eyes. However, technically speaking, people of all ages can suffer from dry eyes. The key factor is the malfunction, blockage, or failure of the meibomian glands in the eyes, which produces the critical oil layer of tears necessary for proper lubrication.

Dry Eye Symptoms and Cause

Under normal conditions, the eyes provide their own lubrication with a mixture of water, oil, and mucus. When produced in sufficient and balanced amounts, the eyes work fine. However, when the glands that produce this mixture are restricted or stop operating correctly, dry eye happens. Dry eyes are commonly associated with a sense of grit in the eyes, itching, redness, swelling, and even, ironically, an over-production of tears. Simply adding water to the eyes doesn’t solve the problem. Water by itself doesn’t sufficiently lubricate the eyes and can actually aggravate the situation. After a few hours, dry eye symptoms combine in a downright uncomfortable feeling and difficulty seeing without tearing up and eye-rubbing.

Standard Treatment and Advances

The quick medical solution for dry eyes has been the use of eyedrops with natural tear formulas, not chemical ones. Natural tear formulas produce sufficient moisture for temporary relief, which relaxes the eyes and lubricates them for a few hours. However, more eyedrops are needed usually to get through the day.

New breakthroughs in dry eye treatment have been developed. These include Pulsed Light Therapy to cleaning with Blephex, which address the heart of the problem. By breaking up the material that is blocking the meibomian glands from functioning properly, the glands are then free to produce eye lubrication naturally. This approach works far better in sync with the body’s systems than eyedrops do, which only address dry eye symptoms and not their cause.

Approaching Treatment in Victoria BC

Dr. Balraj Sharma and the rest of our team at Inner Harbour Optometry provide thorough evaluations and eye exams to confirm the extent of dry eye in patients, as well as which treatment direction would be best. With a clear diagnosis, our eye doctors can then apply a solution that not only reduces the symptoms but also puts a patient back on track for full recovery from dry eye as well, versus just maintaining the condition.

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