Dry Eye Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Comprehensive Treatment Options at Valley Laser Eye Centre

Dry eye syndrome is a widespread eye condition marked by a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. This lack of lubrication can result in an array of uncomfortable symptoms, including itching, burning, redness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Dry eye syndrome can impact daily activities, making it challenging to read, drive, or work on a computer for extended periods. At Valley Laser Eye Centre, we recognize the importance of effective dry eye management to maintain your eye comfort and vision quality. In this blog post, we will explore the fundamental aspects of dry eye syndrome, its causes, common triggers, and the comprehensive treatment options available at our centre.

Dry eye syndrome occurs due to either inadequate tear production, excess tear evaporation, or an imbalance in the composition of tears. Tears are essential for maintaining a healthy ocular surface, providing lubrication, reducing the risk of infection, and clearing away foreign particles. When the quantity or quality of tears is compromised, the eye becomes more susceptible to irritation, discomfort, and even potential damage.

Various factors can contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome, including aging, environmental factors, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions. Understanding the underlying causes and recognizing the associated risk factors are vital in managing this condition effectively.

At Valley Laser Eye Centre, our team of dedicated eye care professionals is committed to providing patients with tailored, effective solutions for dry eye syndrome. Our comprehensive treatment options range from over-the-counter artificial tears and prescription medications to lifestyle modifications and advanced therapeutic procedures. By staying informed about dry eye syndrome and exploring the treatment options available, you can feel confident in managing this common eye condition and maintaining optimal eye comfort and overall well-being.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented before consulting a fully certified medical professional.

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome develops when the quantity, quality, or balance of your tears is compromised, affecting your eyes’ ability to maintain a sufficient level of lubrication. There are three primary factors contributing to the development of dry eye syndrome:

1. Insufficient Tear Production: Several factors can hinder your eyes’ ability to produce an adequate amount of tears, including age, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions, and some medications. Inadequate tear production can result in a dry, irritated ocular surface that’s more prone to discomfort and inflammation.

2. Excess Tear Evaporation: Your tears may evaporate too quickly if your eyes are exposed to environmental conditions such as dry air, wind, or smoke. Additionally, incomplete blinking or issues with your eyelid’s function can lead to rapid tear evaporation, leaving your eyes feeling dry and irritated.

3. Imbalance in Tear Composition: Your tears are composed of a delicate balance of water, oils, and mucus. When there is an imbalance in this composition, your tears fail to provide sufficient lubrication to the eye’s surface, leading to dry eye symptoms.

Risk Factors and Common Triggers

Several factors may increase your risk of developing dry eye syndrome or exacerbate your symptoms. Recognizing these risk factors can help you manage your condition more effectively:

1. Aging: Your risk of developing dry eye syndrome increases as you age because tear production tends to decline over time. This decline is particularly noticeable for menopausal and postmenopausal women.

2. Environmental and Lifestyle Factors: Exposure to dry or windy environments, smoke, or air pollution can trigger dry eye symptoms or worsen existing ones. Spending long periods focusing on a computer or electronic devices can also contribute to symptoms due to reduced blinking rates during screen time.

3. Certain Medications and Medical Conditions: Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications, can decrease tear production or alter the composition of tears, leading to dry eye symptoms. Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, SjΓΆgren’s syndrome, and thyroid disorders can also increase the risk of dry eye syndrome.

Comprehensive Treatment Options

At Valley Laser Eye Centre, we offer a range of personalized treatment options to address the underlying causes of dry eye syndrome and alleviate your symptoms. These treatment options include:

1. Artificial Tears and Lubricating Eye Drops: These over-the-counter products help supplement your natural tears by providing temporary relief from dry eye symptoms. Artificial tears are available in different formulations to suit your unique needs, and our eye care professionals can recommend the most appropriate type for you.

2. Prescription Medications: In some cases, prescription eye drops or oral medications may be necessary to address inflammation or other underlying issues contributing to your dry eye syndrome. Steroid eye drops, anti-inflammatory medications, and immunosuppressive drugs are examples of prescription treatments that might be recommended by your eye care professional.

3. Lifestyle Modifications: Simple changes in your daily habits can significantly impact the severity of your dry eye symptoms. These changes may include:

  • Adjusting Your Environment: Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air, keep your home and workspace clean to reduce allergens, and minimize direct exposure to smoke or wind.
  • Taking Screen Breaks: Follow the 20-20-20 rule β€” for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This helps reduce the strain on your eyes and encourages more complete blinking.
  • Practicing Proper Eye Hygiene: Regularly clean your eyelids and the surrounding area with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oils and debris that could contribute to tear evaporation or inflammation.

4. Advanced Treatments and Procedures: If conventional treatments aren’t sufficient in managing your dry eye symptoms, specialized procedures, such as punctal plugs or meibomian gland expression, can provide relief by addressing the underlying causes of your condition more directly.


Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that affects millions of people, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options, you can take the necessary steps to manage your dry eye symptoms effectively.

Valley Laser Eye Centre is committed to providing personalized, comprehensive care to ensure long-lasting relief from dry eye syndrome and support your overall eye health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let our expert Abbotsford ophthalmologists help you find the most appropriate treatment options for your individual needs.



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