Dealing with Dry Eye
At Downtown Eye Care & The Contact Lens Department, we have provided Ottawa with specialized eye care for over 30 years. No matter what care you need, we’re here to help.
Whether it is a comprehensive eye exam, specialty contact lenses, or eye disease management, we have the experience to help with your vision needs. Come visit us and we can help support your visual health.
What Causes Dry Eye?
No matter the environmental conditions, your eyes can feel dry and uncomfortable. While blowing air conditioning or windy conditions don’t help, your surroundings are not the only reason you might be experiencing dry eyes.
Here are some other reasons why you may have dry eyes:
Types of Dry Eye Disease
All eyes are different and the causes of dry eye disease may differ from person to person. In general, there are 2 types of dry eye disease: evaporative dry eye and aqueous deficiency.
Evaporative Dry Eye
To understand evaporative dry eye, we first must understand the tear film, the oily layer that covers the outer surface of the eye.
The tear film is made of 3 layers and these layers must be balanced to ensure it is functioning effectively. An oil layer prevents tears from evaporating too quickly, a water layer hydrates the eyes, and a mucus layer spreads moisture evenly over the eyes.
When the oil layer isn’t contributing to the tear film, you may experience evaporative dry eye.
Sometimes, dry eye occurs when there’s a blockage in the oil glands that produce the oily layer of your tear film. These are called the meibomian glands and they line the top and bottom of your eyelids.
If the glands cannot produce oil effectively or in large enough quantity, the eye can become dry as tears evaporate before they have had a chance to hydrate the eye.
Aqueous deficiency dry eye accounts for a small percentage of dry eye cases. It occurs when the eyes simply do not produce enough tears to moisten the eye.
Diagnosing Dry Eye Disease
The best way to have dry eye disease diagnosed is to book an appointment for a comprehensive eye examination. Any time your eyes feel uncomfortable, it’s valuable to have them examined by a doctor of optometry.
If you think you might have dry eye disease, some of the warning signs include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Stringy discharge
- Foreign body sensation
- Gritty sensation
- Burning or redness
- Excessive watering
- Discomfort while wearing contact lenses
There are a variety of treatment options to help you find relief from dry eye. Your optometrist can either perform treatment in-office, or offer suggestions for at-home treatments.
Eyelid hygiene is important, particularly if your dry eye disease is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. Cleaning the eyelids thoroughly, both at home and in-office, can clear debris from the lid margin and keep the meibomian glands clear.
We can recommend several products such as wipes or cleansers to help keep your eyelids clean and your glands able to contribute to those high-quality tears.
Manual debridement of the eyelids can also be performed in-office to assist with keeping them clear of debris.
Eye drops are a common method of self-treatment for dry eye disease. Not all eye drops are created equal though. We can recommend preservative-free drops to provide lasting relief throughout your day.
Depending on the cause of your dry eye, we may also prescribe medicated drops or ointment to treat inflammation.
Clogged meibomian glands can benefit from a warm, moist eye compress to loosen any blockages. We can recommend eye masks for purchase or show you how to make your own at home.
High-Tech Treatment Options
Our office will be expanding our dry eye treatment options. In the coming months, we will be offering high-tech treatment options and advanced diagnostics for your dry eye.
We’re located in Suite 216 in the 350 Sparks Street Office. We share an underground parking garage with the Hilton Garden Inn at 361 Queen Street. The parking garage can be accessed via Queen Street. Please see the photos below for our main and back entrances.
- 350 Sparks Street, Suite 216
- Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7S8
- Phone: (613) 238-5960
- Fax: (613) 800-0385
- Email: [email protected]
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed