The Dry Eye Clinic

at Grand River Optometry

More and more patients are reporting that their eyes feel gritty, itchy and dry. Their vision fluctuates and is blurry. In response, their eyes water and are tired  
Although their symptoms may differ, these patients are suffering from Dry Eye Disease.

Dry Eye Syndrome

In an effort to improve the comfort of our patients and help restore their vision, Grand River Optometry has invested in some of the latest technologies to diagnose and treat your dry eyes.

At the root of most of dry eye disease (over 85%) is a dysfunction of the
meibomian glands. These oil glands, that are naturally found in both the upper and lower eyelids, get blocked and the oil that lubricates the eye does not get to the surface of the eye where it prevents tear evaporation.

One of the most exciting new developments in the treatment of this problem is the revolutionary iLux device from Alcon Canada. By heating the eyelids to 42 degrees Celsius, the device melts the meibum (a natural lubricating oil), allowing it to be expressed. This clears and opens the blocked glands, permitting the meibum to flow freely and prevent the eye from drying out. 

The iLux treatment takes less than 15 minutes and has been shown to provide a 300% increase in the function of the meibomian glands. Most patients experience an improvement in their symptoms in the first few weeks. Studies have shown a 74% improvement in the stability of their tear film. Depending on the severity of the dry eyes, the effects can last 9-12 months or more, reducing dependency on artificial tears.

Intense Pulsed Light at Grand River Optometry In Brantford Ontario (IPL)

Grand River Optometry has also invested in the Lumenis M22 which provides the most advanced and successful treatment for dry eyes.   Originally designed for the treatment of rosacea, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) reduces inflammation and redness along the lid margins and promotes the release of oil from the meibomian glands.   This revolutionary new treatment has changed the lives of many patients who suffer from dry eye.   Check out this link to learn all about the benefits of IPL.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common eye diseases and exists when the eyes are not producing enough tears or produce a poor quality of tears. There are many factors that contribute to dry eye including: poor tear production, excess inflammation, overgrowth of bacteria along the lid margin, the drying effects of medications, and environmental conditions. 

A significant factor is the increased use of electronic devices which studies show reduce the frequency of blinking, an action which serves to express oil from the eyelids, in addition to clearing the ocular surface.

Symptoms of dry eye include:

dry eye

A comprehensive assessment of your eyelids and ocular surface allows us to determine the cause of your dry eye and develop the best treatment plan for your eyes. While historically we have used a microscope to view your eyes and the tear film, new technologies provide deeper insights into the root cause of your symptoms.

An advanced dry eye exam using the Oculus Keratograph 5M provides a clear picture of the severity through the use of various metrics. In turn these findings can help track the success of your treatment.


The oil glands in your eyelids are the single most important contributor to the efficacy of your tear film and the comfort of your eyes.    These oil glands, contained in both your upper and lower eyelids, contribute a lubricating oil called meibum that prevents the tears from evaporating.     These oil glands can atrophy and permanently disappear resulting in extreme dry eye.   Factors associated with loss of these glands include decreased blinking rates, blockage of the gland openings, inflammation from conditions such as rosacea, and a multitude of other factors.

Meibography uses infrared light to image the oil glands and determine their number and quality.    It only takes a minute to perform and can be done during a routine exam or as part of a more complete dry eye evaluation.   The importance of this imaging has been highlighted in recent years as loss of these glands is generally permanent.

Tear Break-up Time

The composition of your tears is meant to protect your eye between blinks.   But in dry eye the stability of the protective tear layer is greatly diminished – instead of shielding your eye from dust, wind and other irritants, the tears evaporate quickly resulting in burning, watering and discomfort.    The Keratograph 5M allows us to determine how long it takes for your eye to dry out and which areas are affected first.   This is a key to finding a solution and tracking your improvement.


In many patients with dry eye, a contributing factor is blepharitis.   This common inflammation of the eyelids is caused by an overabundance of bacteria and sometimes mites (called demodex) that live along the base of the eyelashes and lid margin.   This inflammation leads to redness and crusts that form on the lashes.    The end result is a cycle of irritation that leads to itching and watering.    


The treatment for blepharitis involves the control of the offending bacteria and mites through the use of regular lid hygiene.   Lid cleaning wipes remove the debris that forms on the lid margins.      The use of the Zocular Eyelid System Treatment (ZEST) is an in office deep cleansing procedure that helps restore the eyelids to their natural state.   Much like in dentistry, regular deep cleaning of the lids can complement a consistent at home lid hygiene program.


Other Treatments

Since Dry Eye Disease is a multifactorial process there no standard treatment that fits every patient.    The key to success is tailoring therapy to each person.    There are many therapies available to help you with your dry eye.   

Available Treatments for Dry Eye and Blepharitis

Tired of Dry Eyes? – Find Relief with IPL Therapy!