Find Relief from Dry, Irritated Eyes at Prairie Vision
Your tears are essential for nourishing and lubricating your eyes to keep them healthy and comfortable. Dry eyes occur when your tears don’t provide adequate hydration to your eyes. This condition is common and often chronic, leading to discomfort and irritation. And, if left untreated, dry eyes can cause complications, like eye infections.
At Prairie Vision, we provide comprehensive dry eye evaluations and a range of dry eye therapies that offer long-term relief. If you suffer from painful dry eyes, call us today to book an appointment.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can affect people differently. If you have dry eyes, you likely experience symptoms in both eyes. These symptoms can include:
- Stinging, burning, or scratchy eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Eye redness
- A feeling like something is in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty driving at night
- Excessively watery eyes (the body’s response to dry eye irritation)
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Essentially, dry eyes occur when there’s an imbalance with your tear film that causes your tears to either evaporate too quickly or lack the chemical components to hydrate your eyes. This can happen because of aqueous deficiency or evaporation. To understand what these are, it helps to know how the tear film works.
The Tear Film
Every time you blink, your tear film spreads across the surface of your eyes. This film is essential for keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable. It also helps focus light and protect your eyes from debris and dirt.
Your tears are made of 3 distinct but equally important layers:
- The mucin layer: This inner layer of the tear film helps the film stick to the eyes. It contains mucus produced by the conjunctiva (the surface of the eyes).
- The aqueous layer: This middle layer hydrates and nourishes the eye tissues and protects them from foreign particles. It contains proteins, electrolytes, and mostly water produced by the lacrimal glands.
- The lipid layer: This outer oily layer prevents the tear film from evaporating too quickly, keeps the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and is produced by the meibomian glands.
Aqueous Deficient Dry Eyes
Evaporative Dry Eyes
Evaporative dry eyes occur when there’s a deficiency of the lipid layer, which leads to increased tear evaporation. It’s often caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (also known as MGD, a condition that blocks the meibomian glands) and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids). This type of dry eyes is cyclical: blepharitis can cause dry eyes, but dry eyes can also cause blepharitis.
External Causes of Dry Eyes
Although a tear film imbalance is the primary cause of dry eyes, many factors can influence this imbalance in the first place. Some of these include:
- Age: Changes related to age can affect those over 50.
- Hormones: Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy or menopause can cause dryness.
- Medications: Some medicines, like cold and allergy medications, beta-blockers, sleeping pills, and more, have ocular side effects.
- Environment: Smoky, windy, dry, or hot climates can make your tears evaporate more quickly, as can sitting near fans, heating units, and air conditioners.
- Performing close-up tasks: Extended computer use, reading, or writing for longer than 2 hours can lead to dry eyes.
Our Dry Eye Solutions
Every case of dry eye is different and unique to the person experiencing it. To provide you with effective relief, we’ll need to diagnose the root cause of your dry eyes and design a personalized treatment plan.
Depending on your specific case, you may require more than one type of treatment. We offer several dry eye therapy options at Prairie Vision so you have a better chance of achieving comfortable, clear, and healthy vision. These treatments include:
- Punctal plugs: Tiny medical devices about the size of a grain of rice are inserted into your tear ducts to prevent your tears from draining too quickly. They can also work with artificial tears.
- Bruder mask: This patented mask applies gentle heat to your eyelids, helping release blockages in your oil glands, allowing the oils to flow back into your tears.
- Labtician products: We carry a range of ophthalmic products by Labtician, including eye drops and gels.
- PROKERA®: This innovative product is a medical device designed to provide anti-inflammation and anti-scarring properties that promote natural healing.
If you’re interested in learning more about dry eye relief, please call us at Prairie Vision and schedule an eye care appointment today.
We serve clients of all ages from Wainwright, Viking, Vermilion, Provost, Lloydminster (Alberta), Macklin (Saskatchewan), and the surrounding areas.
- 2802 15th Ave, Unit 2
- Wainwright, AB T9W 0A4
After-Hours Emergencies: 780-842-0650
Hours of Operation
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
- Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed
Closed for all statutory holidays