Dry eye disease is a chronic and progressive condition affecting about 30% of Canadians. Symptoms include eye fatigue, soreness, grittiness, and sensitivity to light. If left untreated, dry eye symptoms can lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the eye’s surface, corneal ulcers, and poor vision. Meibomian glands, which are found along the rims of the eyelid, secrete oils that help prevent evaporation of the eye’s tear film. As your eyes become dry and inflamed, the oils can become thickened (toothpaste-like), which blocks the glands and prevents proper secretion of oils. This causes poor tear quality as tears in the eye will then evaporate too quickly, leading to dry eye disease. Even more, not treating meibomian gland dysfunction can cause the glands to die off, resulting in a permanent reduction of oil secretion and increased risk of vision and eye health problems.
To combat this growing issue, iLux is a new dry eye treatment that can alleviate symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse with a gentle and comfortable procedure. As one of the newest technologies, iLux is a handheld machine controlled manually by your optometrist that uses light to soften any blockages of the meibomian glands and restores as much oil secretions as possible. Prior to undergoing this treatment, your optometrist will take pictures of your glands (meibography) and perform other diagnostic tests to determine how well your glands are performing and whether iLux is right for you.
The procedure uses a single-use smart-tip that consists of an upper and lower pad made of a soft sterile silicone material. It is inserted behind the eyelid and constantly monitors the temperature of the inner lid to ensure patient safety. Prior to the insertion, optional numbing drops can be provided. The device is then heated up to 42.0°C to start melting the thickened oils. Next, your optometrist will gently compress and express the oils, unclogging the meibomian glands. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes and is a much more effective alternative to home remedies such as warm compresses with manual lid massage.
If you are suffering from dry eyes, contact us to see if iLux right for you! Our dry eye management program offers a personalized treatment plan for this complex condition.