According to the newly released international Dry Eye Work Shop study II: “Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by a loss of homeostasis of the tear film, and accompanied by ocular symptoms, in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, ocular surface inflammation and damage, and neurosensory abnormalities play etiological roles.”
Simply put, there are many causes for dry eyes. One main factor is tear osmolarity—the composition of your tears. Your tears, which are composed of various ions, salts, enzymes, oils, water, and mucous, should be in perfect balance. It’s when that balance is disrupted that the symptoms of dry eyes arise.
Symptoms Associated with Dry Eyes
Here is a list of symptoms and other conditions which can be associated with Dry Eye:
Common symptoms of dryness
- Foreign Body sensation
- Excessive tearing
- Blurred vision
Blepharitis – Inflammation of the eyelid margins
- Foreign body sensation
- Crusty lashes
- Small living organism (mites) that live in the eyelid lash area
- Causes crustiness, pain, redness, tearing
At Eyes on Sheppard, we offer the Keratograph 5M, a device with the ability to non-invasively detect how long your natural tears linger on your eye. It can also take infrared images of oil-producing glands called Meibomian glands which prevent the evaporation of tears; these images then allow your eye doctor to detect blockages and differences in gland morphology—a crucial measure that gives your doctor the insight to plan an optimal treatment. By pairing Keratograph 5M with another device, the Ipen, your eye-care provider will be well equipped to diagnose, treat, and track the progression of this potentially debilitating disease.
The IPen is a relatively non-invasive measure of tear osmolarity, giving doctors insight to the composition and quality of the tears you produce. Tears with too many extra components can draw moisture away from the ocular surface causing dryness.
We also actively check for Demodex mites living on the patient’s eyelashes and lid margin. At Eyes on Sheppard, we are able diagnose and treat the condition on site and provide at home maintenance therapies .
Another one of our devices, called the SMTube is crucial for making diagnostic decisions. It allows us to measure the volume of tears that a patient produces. For instance, a patient might have dryness because their lacrimal (tear) glands aren’t producing enough tears, so this simple test can prove to be quite valuable.
Eyes on Sheppard offers eye drops with superior formulas like Hylo and Idrop, two eye drops with high concentrations of Sodium Hyaluronate (SH), a substance crucial for maintaining an elastic buffer on the eye and allowing the surface to better handle mechanical forces like blinking. If the ocular surface isn’t lubricated correctly, mechanical forces (like blinking) can cause frictional damage to the surface of the eye. This is a condition commonly seen with contact lens-wearers.
With so many causative factors that contribute to dry eye disease, having the appropriate technology to investigate is pivotal. Eyes on Sheppard offers all the latest in digital imaging and diagnostic equipment so that patients can be sure their doctor is giving the most thorough dry eye evaluation. To learn more about the latest dry eye treatments, contact Eyes on Sheppard now, for a consultation.