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What to do About Dry Eyes in the Spring

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TearCare: Providing Relief for Patients with Chronic Dry Eye

Do your eyes itch, burn, sting, or feel sore? Do you use artificial tears and over-the-counter medications, but still experience pain or redness in your eyes? There’s a chance you may have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), the leading cause of Dry Eye Disease.

The TearCare System is one of the latest treatments on the market that offers relief to those with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, Dry Eyes, and Blepharitis, and at the The Eye Studio, we’re proud to have it in our arsenal of advanced treatments for dry eye syndrome.

Contact Dr. Jason Holtom and Dr. Tedra Kindopp to get the relief you’ve been searching for with this proven TearCare system.

What is TearCare for Dry Eye and Blepharitis?

TearCare is a relatively new method of treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Blepharitis. It is a wearable eyelid technology device that administers gentle heat directly to the meibomian glands to liquefy the meibum, remove blockages and stimulate tear production.

How Does TearCare Work?

TearCare includes two flexible eyelid devices, which Dr. Jason Holtom and Dr. Tedra Kindopp will place on your upper and lower eyelids. They’re made of a soft, flexible material that conform to your eye’s natural shape and sit comfortably throughout the procedure. Unlike other treatment methods, TearCare allows the patient’s eyes to remain open and blinking throughout the procedure.

The entire process typically lasts for 2 ½ minutes and takes place in the The Eye Studio office. After TearCare, your eye doctor may manually

clear away obstructions released from the meibomian glands.

To learn more about the TearCare procedure, watch this video tutorial.

Is TearCare Safe?

TearCare is a safe and effective treatment method. The two eyelid devices contain temperature sensors that communicate with the smart hub multiple times per second, ensuring an even delivery of heat to the meibomian glands. The device, controlled by computer software, is customizable and safely monitored throughout the entire process.

The TearCare Device

TearCare is a 4-in-1 system that includes:

  1. A smart hub, which is controlled by computer software to deliver the thermal heat to the eyelids
  2. A charging station for the smart hub
  3. One-time use eyelid devices that gently conform to your eyelids
  4. A one-time use instrument to manually remove blockages from the glands

What are the Benefits of TearCare?

The usual Meibomian Gland Dysfunction treatment methods tend to include medical technologies that sit over both eyes. With the TearCare system, your eyes remain open and you can blink normally throughout, which allows for a more comfortable and natural-feeling procedure while providing you with quicker results than traditional treatments. With TearCare, tears are stimulated and blockages removed, thus preventing permanent damage to your meibomian glands and providing you with long-lasting relief.

Man Smiling Field 1280x853Who is a Good Candidate for TearCare?

Patients using the TearCare system should be at least 22 years old.

If you wear contact lenses, they must be removed prior to the TearCare procedure. Following treatment, you will need to wait one hour before re-inserting them.

Please let us know If you have an ocular surface abnormality, such as a corneal dystrophy or a similar condition. TearCare may not be suitable in such cases. Inform us prior to administering the treatment in order to ensure an effective, comfortable procedure.

What Are the Side Effects of TearCare?

Just as with all procedures, there may be certain side effects associated with the use of the TearCare system. These may include:

  • Allergic reaction to the adhesive underneath the eyelid devices
  • Conjunctivitis (commonly called ‘pink eye’)
  • Corneal abrasion
  • Styes
  • Swelling or burning of the eyelids

Should you experience any side effects, contact Dr. Jason Holtom and Dr. Tedra Kindopp right away.

Fortunately, among its many benefits is TearCare’s customizable system. This allows us to adjust the settings as needed and treat any discomfort or side effects in our office.

TearCare For Your Dry Eye

If your Dry Eye is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, speak to about the TearCare system. The caring and knowledgeable staff at The Eye Studio is here to help our dry eye patients experience the best vision care thanks to our advanced solutions and treatments.

Our practice serves patients from Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe, and Central, Alberta and surrounding communities.
Contact Us For More Info
Call 403-352-8846
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Radiofrequency Therapy (RF)

Radiofrequency Therapy (RF) is a safe and effective in-office treatment for dry eyes. During the procedure, RF delivers high-frequency electrical current to the skin in order to generate heat and stimulate the production of collagen.

This therapy not only melts the thick oil secretions, unclogging the meibomian gland and improving the quality of tears, but also reduces any inflammation around your eyes that may be contributing to your dry eyes.

How Does RF Treatment Work?

During the procedure, your eye doctor will use a RF handheld device to gently massage around your eye using a soothing gel. This sends the electrical current into your skin and creates a warming sensation.

The RF treatment causes no pain or discomfort, and takes on average 30 minutes to complete.

After Your RF Treatment

While certain patients notice immediate improvements in their dry eye symptoms, it generally takes a series of treatments to experience drastic change.

Following the treatment, you may experience blurred vision for several days. There is no reason for concern, as it indicates that your meibomian glands are expressing more oil than your eyes are accustomed to. Aside from this, no downtime is required and you should be able to return to your daily activities right after the treatment.

How Is RF Different From Other Dry Eye Treatments?

Standard dry eye treatments, such as eye drops, artificial tears, hot compresses, and eyelid scrubs, aim to temporarily relieve symptoms instead of treating the root cause of the condition. RF is unique in that they each target the source – the blood vessels surrounding the glands — enabling them to secrete oils naturally and resume their moisturizing function. This not only relieves symptoms but also slows the progression of chronic dry eye.

If you have tried various treatments and still struggle with unpleasant dry eye symptoms, we can help. Contact The Eye Studio today.

Our practice serves patients from Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe, and Central, Alberta and surrounding communities.
Contact Us For More Info
Call 403-352-8846
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Vitamins and Foods That Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome

Approximately 16 million Americans have dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye—other than the obvious eye dryness—include grittiness, burning, irritation and difficulty reading or looking at a screen for long periods of time. Studies have shown that certain foods help the eyes stay properly hydrated.

Specific vitamins, fatty acids and trace elements are good not only for our overall health but also for our tear film.

Omega Fatty Acids For Dry Eye

Omega fatty acids are responsible for forming the stabilizing oil layer in the tear film. If this outer layer of the lubricating film is disrupted, it can lead to dry eye symptoms like burning, redness and itchiness. In addition, omega fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Foods high in omega fatty acids include:

  • Fish. cod, mackerel, salmon, trout
  • Meat. red meat, pork liver
  • Oils. canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil,
  • Other animal products. cheese, eggs

Vitamins for Dry Eye

Below is a list of vitamins that help with dry eye and boosts general eye health.

  • Vitamin A (retinol) helps protect the surface of the eye. Vitamin A deficiency, which usually occurs in developing countries, can cause an increase in dry eye. By adding foods rich in Vitamin A, like carrots, pumpkins, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, dairy products and liver, you can prevent the development of this condition.
  • Vitamin B2 protects your eyes from cell damage. It is found in broccoli, avocados, dairy products and whole-grain products.
  • Vitamin B6 is needed for a healthy tear film. Foods such as kale, potatoes, goose, mackerel, salmon and sardines contain high doses of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B12 is also important for lubricating the eyes. It’s typically found in mackerel, beef liver, calf’s liver and pork liver. It is also found in dairy products and eggs, though in smaller amounts.
  • Vitamin C protects against oxidative stress and plays an important role in maintaining a functioning tear film. It can be found in peppers, broccoli, rosehip, acerola berries and brussels sprouts.
  • Vitamin E is necessary to protect your eyes against cell damage as well as dry eye. This vitamin is prominently found in sunflower oil, mackerel, wheat germ oil, peppers, spinach, mangos and redcurrants.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that help cells function correctly and stay healthy. They help prevent many chronic eye diseases, including dry eye syndrome. Foods rich in these antioxidants include leafy greens like romaine lettuce, kale and spinach. They are also available as supplements.

Zinc for Eye Health

Zinc plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy. This mineral is responsible for getting vitamin A from your liver to your retina and produces melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes. Dairy, whole grains, nuts, sweetcorn, peas and lentils are all excellent sources of zinc.

Drink Water to Hydrate Your Eyes

Lastly, drink water. While it may seem obvious, many of us forget to drink enough water. Staying hydrated can help improve eye comfort and is vital for your kidneys, bowels and radiant-looking skin.

Eating healthy and staying hydrated helps to ensure your eyes get the vitamins and minerals they need. So go ahead and protect your vision, improve eye health and relieve your dry eye symptoms by adding these nutrients to your diet. However, remember to always consult your eye doctor before taking any supplements.

Contact The Eye Studio to learn more and to explore our effective and lasting treatments to relieve your dry eyes so you can live your best life.

Our practice serves patients from Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe, and Central, Alberta and surrounding communities.
Contact Us For More Info
Call 403-352-8846
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Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

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Eye Drops for Dry Eyes: Why You Should See Your Eye Doctor

Effectively managing a health condition like dry eye syndrome (DES) requires a thorough diagnostic and treatment process. So why do so many people find themselves pacing up and down the eye drop aisle at their local drug store, searching for yet another eye drop to ease their symptoms?

Knowing exactly what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat the condition at its source is the only way to attain long-lasting relief. At The Eye Studio, we do more than just treat the symptoms — we determine the underlying cause of your DES and get to the root of the issue.

Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

DES is a progressive eye condition that affects over 20 million North Americans annually. It is caused by either poor tear quality or insufficient tears.

The most common cause of poor tear quality is a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a blockage of the meibomian glands — the tiny glands at the edge of the eyelids that secrete an oily film into your tears.

Some medical conditions that can cause decreased tear production include Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid conditions, and lupus. Aging and a vitamin A deficiency can also lower tear production.

Symptoms of DES range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating, and can include:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Painful or irritated eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Itchy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision

DES can make it difficult for the eye to flush out foreign bodies, so sand, grit and allergens sometimes get stuck in the eye.

Why Do People Use Over-the-Counter (OTC) Eye Drops?

beautiful eyesGiven how uncomfortable dry eye symptoms can be, it’s no surprise that dry eye sufferers seek relief using over-the-counter drops. People with DES may not realize that they should visit their eye doctor rather than seek solutions on their own.

Some eye doctors recommend using OTC eye drops to temporarily treat mild symptoms until the condition naturally heals. For example, after an eye injury or surgery, many find that lubricating eye drops soothe the eyes and provide moisture.

But not all eye drops are created equal. People with mild to moderate cases of DES who seek relief from OTC solutions may be choosing the wrong types of drops or dosage for their eyes.

The three main categories of non-prescription eye drops are:

  • Lubricating eye drops/artificial tears
  • Antihistamine eye drops
  • Redness-reducing eye drops

Masking a mild case of DES by using redness-reducing eye drops (also called decongestant eye drops) won’t address the underlying source of the redness. In fact, decongestant eye drops have been shown to exacerbate DES symptoms in the long run.

What’s more, your eyes can eventually become [desensitized] to the effects of OTC eye drops after repeated use. This eventually leads people back to the drugstore in search of even stronger eye drops, perpetuating the never-ending “eye drop cycle.”

End the Vicious Eye Drop Cycle

Experiencing continual eye irritation indicates the need for professional eye care. An optometrist will isolate the cause of your DES and use their expertise to find the most effective treatment for lasting relief.

Even if you have a mild case of dry eye syndrome, now is the perfect time to start treatment, before symptoms worsen. If you’ve sought help in the past but were told nothing else could be done to treat your eye condition, speak with Dr. Jason Holtom and Dr. Tedra Kindopp regarding the latest and most effective dry eye treatments.

If you’re ready to end the cycle of getting over-the-counter eye drops without lasting relief, contact Dr. Jason Holtom and Dr. Tedra Kindopp for a dry eye evaluation.

Our practice serves patients from Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe, and Central, Alberta and surrounding communities.

REFERENCES

Contact Us For More Info
Call 403-352-8846
Read More About Dry Eyes
Finding Relief for Dry Eye Thumbnail.jpg

An Overview of Dry Eye Symptoms and Causes

dry eye treatments Thumbnail.jpg

What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

Read Our Latest Posts
Whats The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma 640×350 1.jpg

What’s The Connection Between Dry Eye And Asthma?

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression 640×350 1.jpg

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

Dry Eye Air Travel Tips 640×350 1.jpg

5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes During Air Travel

Whats The Link Between Dry Eye And Accutane 640×350 1.jpg

What’s The Link Between Dry Eye and Accutane (Acne Medication)