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Dry Eye Treatment in Medicine Hat

Dry Eyes

Among the most common and most annoying eye conditions is dry eyes. For some people, having dry eyes is an inconvenient nuisance, for others, it can be debilitating. 

Because of where we live in Southern Alberta, the vast majority of our population has some form of dry eyes. Unfortunately, most people try to manage their dry eye disease with things that they have heard work with others, such as over-the-counter dry eye drops, hoping to get the same results. Additionally, the marketing world has also recognized the prevalence of dry eye disease, so they are captivating audiences with commercials and advertising that is designed to entice and convince the average consumer that their dry eye problems can be solved with one simple product. Gratefully, sometimes those advertised products indeed work, but many times they do not. 

The truth is, not all dry eye disease is the same. As such, each person’s dry eye disease needs to be assessed by an optometrist, who will be able to determine the type of dry eye disease, and can create a management strategy catered to that person’s specific needs.


If Not All Dry Eye Disease Is the Same, What Types of Dry Eye Disease Are There?

This topic is an ever-changing  field of research, and classifications of types and subtypes of dry eyes change about every decade. The complexity of dry eye is so immense that, believe it or not, it is hard for even experts to come to an agreement on what types and subtypes of dry eye exist. If you really want a true idea of just how complex things are, and if you want your head to spin a bit, you can take a look at the diagrams and descriptions that have been published by these major research groups in recent years: DEWS II, ADES.

In short, there are so many types and subtypes of dry eyes that it is nearly impossible for us to try to simplify things in a short paragraph like this. Just know that if you have dry eye symptoms, the type and cause of your dry eyes may be extremely different from the type and cause of your friend, neighbour, family member, or coworker. 

It is important to have your dry eye looked at by one of our optometrists, who will be able to adequately determine the reasons behind your dry eye.

What Causes Dry Eye?

There are almost too many things to list here, but here are a few:

  • Certain medications (too many to list)
  • Certain recreational drugs
  • Medical conditions (too many to list)
  • Contact lens wear
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Deficiencies in the function of your eyelids
    • Meibomian gland dysfunction 
    • Incomplete blink 
    • Lid wyper epitheliopathy 
    • Anterior blepharitis 
    • Posterior blepharitis 
      And the list goes on…..
  • The environment 
  • Long term computer use
  • Certain types of eye surgeries like LASIK and PRK
  • Some kinds of eye injuries 
  • Age (the older we get, the more dry our eyes generally feel)
  • Gender (the hormones of females make them more likely to experience certain types of dry eyes than males)

Of course, most people have more than one cause for their dry eye, so things can get quite complicated sometimes. It’s rarely just one thing for people.  

What Types of Treatments Do You Offer At 20/20 Vision Care?

Certain types of over-the-counter eye drops are available at our office, some as free samples, and some for purchase. 

Professional grade preservative-free eye drops that are not available at pharmacies because they are produced by companies for the sole purpose of certain types of dry eye disease. We have well over 6 different products like this, each with a different purpose. 

Prescription eye drops that are created to reduce the corneal inflammation associated with dry eye disease, and also to promote increased tear production. These include Restasis, Xiidra, and others. 

Lid wypes that are specifically designed for certain types of anterior blepharitis. We have a variety of types and brands of these, depending on the type of anterior blepharitis you have.

Punctual plugs can be used to block the natural drainage of your tears. Believe it or not, we swallow our tears all day through tiny openings called puncta. These holes can be blocked with punctual plugs that are sized specifically for you, and that are designed to retain the tears that you naturally produce on your ocular surface for longer. 

I-relief masks that are designed specifically to increase the production of oils that are naturally produced by little glands called meibomian glands. These masks are heated in a microwave and can be purchased at our office. 

Scleral contact lenses are specialty contact lenses that can sometimes be used to treat dry eyes. The reason these particular types of contact lenses help is because they permanently trap a layer of tears between the lens and the cornea to provide constant moisture to the eye throughout the day, no matter how dry the environment may be. 

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) is offered at our clinic. As with all previously listed treatments, this does not help with all types of dry eye, but it is especially helpful for dry eyes that are suffering due to deficiencies with special oils that are produced on our eyelids by glands called meibomian glands.

Lifestyle and diet modifications may be recommended by our optometrists, depending on the type of dry eye you have. 

Book Your Next Appointment

20/20 Vision Care

Contact Details

431 3rd St SE,
Medicine Hat, Alberta

444 4th St SE,

Medicine Hat, Alberta


3rd Street Location

Weekdays: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Wednesday: 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM

Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sun/Holidays: Closed

Holiday Weekend: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

4th Street Location

Weekdays: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sun/Holidays: Closed

Holiday Weekend: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM



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