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Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome

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Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome

Those with dry eye syndrome (DES) suffer from eyes that feel dry, itchy, uncomfortable, irritated and at times very painful. Eye drops and artificial tears can deliver relief but are no more than a temporary solution. Eventually, patients with chronic dry eyes seek out more durable methods of treatment.

Scleral lenses are an excellent solution due to their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting for each patient. Though generally used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, scleral lenses can also provide immense relief to dry eye patients.

Scleral lenses tackle three factors simultaneously: they provide vision correction, they protect the eye, and they serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye. Scleral lenses decrease pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness while providing sharp, clear vision.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Cornea With Scleral Lens 1280×853Scleral lenses provide relief and visual rehabilitation to patients with dry eyes and corneal irregularities. These custom designed lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the cornea. The liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea provides a continuous moist environment that protects the cornea and provides relief for those with dry eyes.

Because these lenses are oxygen permeable, they provide the wearer with better comfort and a healthy cornea. In fact, their ability to transmit oxygen reduces eye problems, such as dry eyes, caused by diminished oxygen transmission to the cornea, which is common among most soft lens’ brands or hard (non-GP) lenses.

If you have Dry Eyes and are interested in scleral lenses, Dr. Radhika Chawla can help. Experienced in fitting scleral lenses for dry eyes and other corneal conditions, Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center serves patients from all over Richmond Hill, Markham, North Yorkand Vaughn, in the state of Ontario.

Why Scleral Lenses Offer Relief to Those with Dry Eye Syndrome

Contact Lenses You Can Wear With Dry Eyes

Traditional soft contact lenses are not an option for those with dry eyes, as the lenses sit right on the cornea, which can be very irritating for dry eye patients. Moreover, they tend to act as sponges, soaking up the moisture from the surface of the eye. Wearing soft contact lenses can, therefore, prove to be virtually unbearable for the dry eye patient.

Scleral lenses, on the other hand, are comfortable since they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, thus avoiding the sensitive cornea.

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Scleral Lenses Provide Continuous Eye Hydration

The zone between the surface of the cornea and the scleral lens is filled with a saline solution. This acts as a constant source of hydration for the eye and provides ongoing relief for the dry eye patient.

Scleral Lenses Soothe and Protect the Cornea

People with dry eyes tend to have sensitive corneas that are prone to injury. The simple act of blinking can irritate the eye or even injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses prevent damage to the cornea by shielding the patient’s eyes from the friction caused by blinking and protecting it from any external irritants or dust.

If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method beyond eyedrops and artificial tears, ask Dr. Radhika Chawla about scleral lenses. We will patiently assess and explain your condition to you, and will perform a specialized, scleral lens custom-fitting to ensure that you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity and comfort.

Call Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center today to schedule your consultation today.

Our practice serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn, Ontario and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133
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Punctal Plugs

If you suffer from dry, burning, irritated or itchy eyes, you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a condition where your eyes either don’t produce enough tears or produce low-quality tears that can’t keep your eyes adequately hydrated. Sometimes the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of your tears, found inside your eyelid don’t function properly or are blocked, causing your tears to dry out.

If your tear ducts are blocked, your eye doctor may suggest punctal plugs.

What Are Punctal Plugs?

Punctal plugs are small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts — the puncta — of the eyelids. Another type of plug is inserted into the tear duct, the canaliculus, at a deeper level.

Puncta are small openings in your eyes that drain tears. The plug, which is about the size of a grain of rice, prevents fluid from flowing from the eyes. This ensures that the maximum amount of tears remain on the eyes at all times, resulting in less itching, burning, and redness.

Two Types of Punctal Plugs

Temporary/dissolving plugs

Temporary/dissolving plugs are made of a material, such as collagen, that the body absorbs over time. These plugs can last anywhere from a few days to several months in the eye. After refractive surgery, such as LASIK, temporary plugs are frequently used to keep the eye moist. They can also be used to test out punctal plugs to see if they provide dry eye relief.

Semi-permanent plugs

Semi-permanent plugs are composed of medical plastic, such as silicone or acrylic, that lasts longer. These plugs are made to stay in the eye for years. Your eye doctor can remove them, if necessary.

Another sort of semi-permanent punctal plug is inserted in the canaliculus, which is a deeper section of the tear duct. Once in the eye, these plugs are completely invisible.

How Are Punctal Plugs Inserted?

Your eye doctor will first inspect your eye to determine the optimum type and size of plug for your eyes.

Anesthesia may be used to numb your tear ducts. However, in some cases, you may not need to have your eyes numbed. As the punctal plug is inserted into your eyelid, you may feel some pressure.

After the plugs are inserted, you should be able to resume your normal activities at once.

When and How are Punctal Plugs Removed?

How to remove the plugs and when will depend on which plugs are inserted.

To remove silicon plugs from the tear ducts, your eye doctor will use forceps to gently pull the plugs out. Another option for removing these plugs is to use a saltwater solution to flush them out. The plugs are forced out of the tear ducts and into the nose or throat during this procedure.

Surgery is usually required to remove plugs that are deeper in the tear duct (in the canaliculus).

For most people, punctal plugs don’t cause any problems. However, if you have any eye pain, itchiness, or fear you have an infection, contact your eye doctor right away. The eye doctor will examine your eyes and remove the plugs if necessary.

Are Punctal Plugs for You?

Consult your eye doctor if artificial tears or other eye drops have failed to relieve your dry eye symptoms. If blocked tear glands are the culprit, your doctor might advise you to try punctal plugs. For more information regarding punctal plugs contact Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center today!

Our practice serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn, Ontario and surrounding communities.
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You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133
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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs for a variety of reasons. The leading cause of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which affects the essential oil layer of the eye’s tear film and causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. Mild to moderate cases of dry eye causes discomfort, while severe dry eye can result in permanent damage and scarring of the cornea.

More than 85% of patients who visit their eye doctor due to dry eye symptoms are diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction. MGD is chronic and the symptoms generally worsen when left untreated.

Fortunately, a certain procedure, called meibomian gland expression, uses heat to unblock glands in the eyelids to relieve the itchy, gritty feeling caused by MGD.

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?

The meibomian glands are located along the outer edges of your upper and lower eyelids, where they produce complex oily fluid that stabilizes the tear film and slows the evaporation of your tears. This is an essential function, as tears ensure your cornea lubricated for comfortable and clear vision.

When the meibomian glands don’t function properly or are blocked, the oil layer of your tear film isn’t thick enough to keep your eyes moist. In addition to the rapid evaporation of tears, this creates greater friction between the cornea and eyelids, resulting in eye irritation.

What Is Meibomian Gland Expression?

Just like the pores in our skin, the tiny meibomian glands can be blocked with thickened oil residue. Meibomian gland expression is a procedure that unblocks the gland by squeezing out a tiny amount of oil from the glands. This also allows your eye doctor to determine how to best open the glands permanently.

The process is not only a method for diagnosing MGD, but also a therapy that can remove the blockage and reduce MGD symptoms.

How Does It Work?

Meibomian gland expression involves gently expressing and squeezing out the oils of the glands by applying pressure to the eyelids.

The eye doctor uses tiny forceps or paddle-like instruments to compress the lower and upper eyelids. The doctor may also apply a warm compress before the expression of the gland for the smooth secretion of the hardened oils that clog the glands.

Depending on the severity of your MGD, your doctor may suggest other types of heat therapies or treatment.

Other Heat Therapies for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) heats the skin around the eye area and dislodges the oil build-up. This treatment targets the source directly – the blood vessels that surround the glands. Once this occurs, the glands can once again secrete the oils naturally, resuming their moisturizing effects.

LipiFlow

LipiFlow is a device that applies warm and gentle pressure directly to the meibomian glands, liquefying the blockage. Your eye doctor will then be able to remove the blockage from the area, flushing out any dead cells, leaving your glands clear and comfortable.

The Bruder Mask

The Bruder Mask is a heated compress that sits over your eyes, almost like a large, soft beauty mask. The mask is made up of many tiny beads which, when warmed, release heat. This heat gently opens the oil glands and helps restore the oil secretion back into the eyes.

Meibomian gland expression promotes healthy secretion of oil to the eyes’ surface and provides excellent long-term results. All successful meibomian gland expression treatments decrease dry eye symptoms by increasing the glands’ quality of oil production. Usually, a single session is sufficient, but many people benefit from regular treatments.

If not treated early and properly, meibomian gland dysfunction can cause severe damage to your eyes and vision. Contact Dr. Radhika Chawla to learn more about meibomian gland expression and attain the dry eye relief you seek.

Our practice serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn, Ontario and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133
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Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

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Eye Drops for Dry Eyes: Why You Should See Your Eye Doctor

Effectively managing a health condition like dry eye syndrome (DES) requires a thorough diagnostic and treatment process. So why do so many people find themselves pacing up and down the eye drop aisle at their local drug store, searching for yet another eye drop to ease their symptoms?

Knowing exactly what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat the condition at its source is the only way to attain long-lasting relief. At Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center, we do more than just treat the symptoms — we determine the underlying cause of your DES and get to the root of the issue.

Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

DES is a progressive eye condition that affects over 20 million North Americans annually. It is caused by either poor tear quality or insufficient tears.

The most common cause of poor tear quality is a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a blockage of the meibomian glands — the tiny glands at the edge of the eyelids that secrete an oily film into your tears.

Some medical conditions that can cause decreased tear production include Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid conditions, and lupus. Aging and a vitamin A deficiency can also lower tear production.

Symptoms of DES range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating, and can include:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Painful or irritated eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Itchy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision

DES can make it difficult for the eye to flush out foreign bodies, so sand, grit and allergens sometimes get stuck in the eye.

Why Do People Use Over-the-Counter (OTC) Eye Drops?

beautiful eyesGiven how uncomfortable dry eye symptoms can be, it’s no surprise that dry eye sufferers seek relief using over-the-counter drops. People with DES may not realize that they should visit their eye doctor rather than seek solutions on their own.

Some eye doctors recommend using OTC eye drops to temporarily treat mild symptoms until the condition naturally heals. For example, after an eye injury or surgery, many find that lubricating eye drops soothe the eyes and provide moisture.

But not all eye drops are created equal. People with mild to moderate cases of DES who seek relief from OTC solutions may be choosing the wrong types of drops or dosage for their eyes.

The three main categories of non-prescription eye drops are:

  • Lubricating eye drops/artificial tears
  • Antihistamine eye drops
  • Redness-reducing eye drops

Masking a mild case of DES by using redness-reducing eye drops (also called decongestant eye drops) won’t address the underlying source of the redness. In fact, decongestant eye drops have been shown to exacerbate DES symptoms in the long run.

What’s more, your eyes can eventually become [desensitized] to the effects of OTC eye drops after repeated use. This eventually leads people back to the drugstore in search of even stronger eye drops, perpetuating the never-ending “eye drop cycle.”

End the Vicious Eye Drop Cycle

Experiencing continual eye irritation indicates the need for professional eye care. An optometrist will isolate the cause of your DES and use their expertise to find the most effective treatment for lasting relief.

Even if you have a mild case of dry eye syndrome, now is the perfect time to start treatment, before symptoms worsen. If you’ve sought help in the past but were told nothing else could be done to treat your eye condition, speak with Dr. Radhika Chawla regarding the latest and most effective dry eye treatments.

If you’re ready to end the cycle of getting over-the-counter eye drops without lasting relief, contact Dr. Radhika Chawla for a dry eye evaluation.

Our practice serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn, Ontario and surrounding communities.

REFERENCES

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133
Read More About Dry Eyes
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Dry Eye Questionnaire

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intense light

Radiofrequency Therapy (RF)

Radiofrequency Therapy (RF) is a safe and effective in-office treatment for dry eyes. During the procedure, RF delivers high frequency electrical current to the skin in order to generate heat and stimulate the production of collagen.

This therapy not only melts the thick oil secretions, unclogging the meibomian gland and improving the quality of tears, but also reduces any inflammation around your eyes that may be contributing to your dry eyes.

How Does RF Treatment Work?

During the procedure, your eye doctor will use a RF handheld device to gently massage around your eye using a soothing gel. This sends the electrical current into your skin and creates a warming sensation.

The RF treatment causes no pain or discomfort, and takes on average 30 minutes to complete.

After Your RF Treatment

While certain patients notice immediate improvements in their dry eye symptoms, it generally takes a series of treatments to experience a noticeable change.

Following the treatment, you may experience blurred vision for several days. There is no reason for concern, as it indicates that the meibomian oil glands in your eyelids are expressing more oil than your eyes are accustomed to.

Aside from this, no downtime is required and you should be able to return to your daily activities right after the treatment.

How is RF Different From Other Dry Eye Treatments?

Standard dry eye treatments, such as eye drops, artificial tears, hot compresses, and eyelid scrubs, aim to temporarily relieve symptoms instead of treating the root cause of the condition. RF is unique in that it targets the source, the eyelid’s lids oil glands — enabling them to secrete soothing oils naturally and resume their moisturizing function.

This not only relieves symptoms but acts at the source of the dry eyes – to provide long lasting relief.

If you have tried various treatments and still struggle with unpleasant dry eye symptoms, we can help. Contact Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center today.

The Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center serves patients from in and around Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn and throughout Ontario.

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133

Dry Eye Asian Man 1280×480

How To Use a Warm Compress Correctly For Dry Eye

For those suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome (DES), finding relief from dry, red, irritated eyes may be a top priority. Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is now understood to be caused by many factors including pollution, allergies, too few tears or poor tear quality.

Fortunately, there is a safe, effective, and user-friendly method to alleviate symptoms at home: warm compresses for the eyes.

Do I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye can be caused by numerous factors, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Fatigued or sore eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)

If you suspect that you may have dry eye or experience any of the above symptoms, speak with Dr. Radhika Chawla regarding the various dry eye treatments available to ease your discomfort and improve your condition.

bathroom bathtub ceramic chrome 534116How to Prepare a Warm Eye Compress

A warm compress has been proven to be effective in relieving irritating dry eye symptoms.

  1. The first step in dealing with anything eye care-related is to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and soap.
  2. Fill a clean bowl with warm water, just hot enough to comfortably feel the warmth with your fingers.
  3. Soak a clean washcloth in the warm water. Be sure to use clean water with nothing diluted in it. Face cleansers or Epsom salts can irritate or burn the eyes and should not be added.
  4. Ring out the washcloth so that it’s damp, and fold it lengthwise to the size of your eye area.
  5. Place the warm, damp cloth over closed eyelids and rest if there until it is no longer warm (about 5 minutes).
  6. Remove the washcloth and place it in the bowl with warm water to reheat it. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

You can also microwave a damp washcloth until it’s reached the desired temperature. Make sure to always test the washcloth before placing it over the eyes, as the skin of the eyelid is very thin and can be easily burned.

Warm compresses also come in a dry form, which can be heated using a microwave. All warm compress eye masks can also be purchased at drugstores. We can recommend which brands that are most suitable for your eyes. Whether store-bought or home-made, you’ll want to apply the warm compress twice daily (morning and night) for optimal results.

How Do Warm Compresses Provide Relief?

Warm eye compresses can soothe the eyes and provide almost instant relief. The moisture of the compress hydrates the eyes, which helps to reduce the grittiness, and the warmth relaxes the eye to relieve any pain or muscle spasms that may accompany dry eye. Furthermore, warm compresses can help loosen clogged oil in the glands of your eyelids, which allow these essential oils to mix with your tears, producing better quality tears.

Though warm eye compresses are a great at-home remedy for treating dry eye, Dr. Radhika Chawla can offer other more potent dry eye treatments for complete relief from symptoms. If you are experiencing dry eye, schedule an appointment at Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic Dry Eye Center to get the relief you seek.

Dr. Radhika Chawla serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, Vaughn, and throughout Ontario.

References

Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133
Read More About Dry Eyes
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What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

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Dry Eye Questionnaire

what causes dry eye.jpg

What Can Cause Dry Eye?

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Dry Eye Blog

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TempSure Envi Radiofrequency Treatment

What is TempSure Envi?

TempSure Envi is a non-surgical lid-lift (blepharoplasty) treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to safely and effectively treat dry eyes and what people often describe as 'baggy eyes' and wrinkles around the eyes for a healthier-looking appearance.

Meibomian Gland Disorder (MBD) is the leading cause of dry eye and discomfort in the eyes, and it is now treatable with TempSure’s RF technology.

Over the past 15 years, research has revealed that the leading cause of eye discomfort for over 86% of patients with dry eye is MGD. We provide treatments to help people look and feel their absolute best!

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How Does Radio Frequency Work?

By delivering radiofrequency to heat your skin gently, TempSure increases your skin temperature for a prescribed period of time. This heat triggers the body’s natural reaction to produce new collagen. These new collagen fibers are tighter and denser.

If you are suffering from dry eye disease, Envi also stimulates clogged tear glands, which produce essential oils for your tears. After your treatment, we will provide recommendations and supplements for you to further improve the quality of their tears - reducing recurrences of dry eye symptoms.

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What To Expect?

When you come in for your consultation we will discuss your goals and create a custom treatment plan for you. During your treatment, you will experience a gentle warming sensation in the eyelids and around the eyes.

After the treatment, there is usually only a slight amount of redness on the skin, which quickly subsides. Immediately following your treatment, you will be able to return to your daily activities - there is zero downtime so you can get back to doing what you love to do and look your best while doing it!

Am I a candidate?

TempSure works on all skin types and everyone is a candidate. Treatments are primarily recommended to patients who experience skin laxity (looseness) around the eyes, dermatochalasis (baggy eyes), skin tags, and dry eyes. We love this radiofrequency treatment because it can treat the smaller, more delicate areas on the face.

Does the procedure hurt?

TempSure Envi has been carefully designed with comfort in mind. The radiofrequency provides a pleasant and effective treatment every time. Most of our patients describe the treatment as comfortable.

How long are the treatments?

Treatments last about 30-60 minutes, depending on the area being treated. There is no downtime, allowing you to return to your normal activities immediately.

How many treatments are needed?

We usually recommend that you schedule a series of treatments and regular maintenance appointments to help your body counteract the loss of collagen that is part of the natural aging process.

When will I see results?

Instantly! You will walk away from your appointment with a natural glow, and what many patients describe as a “tighter” feeling. Best of all, collagen will continue to rebuild over time, enhancing your skin’s overall appearance.

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Before and after photos

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If you would like to find out how TempSure Envi can help you, schedule a consultation at Richmond Hill Optometric Clinic today. You can request an appointment online or reach us by phone at 905-883-1010.

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Hot Compress Eye Masks For Effective & Rapid Dry Eye Relief

If you are suffering from mild to moderate dry eye symptoms, such as itchy and gritty eyes, this low tech solution may be just what you need. Hot compress eye masks are easy to use and a natural way to treat blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and specifically – chronic dry eye disease.

What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye disease (DES) is a condition where the eyes chronically feel dry, irritated, and uncomfortable. This is due to either insufficient or poor quality tears. Other symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes – the eyes may overproduce tears to compensate for the lack of lubrication
  • Red eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Sore or achy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and suspect you may have dry eye, speak with Dr. Radhika Chawla about the latest dry eye treatments available. Hot compress eye masks are one of the recommended methods for relieving dry eye.

How Does A Hot Compress Eye Mask Provide Dry Eye Relief?

A hydrating hot compress eye mask contains special beads that continuously absorb and store water molecules from the air. When the mask is warmed up in the microwave, the clean, natural moist heat immediately begins to provide soothing relief for your eyes. A heated eye mask helps stabilize the tear film, improves oil gland function, and slows tear evaporation.

After using the mask, your hydrated and lubricated eyes will be able to expel bacteria and debris more efficiently so your eyes feel refreshed and rejuvenated. The heat from the mask also helps unblock meibomian glands and produce more tears.

Contact Dr. Radhika Chawla to discuss your dry eye symptoms and to determine whether hot compress eye masks are the right treatment for you.

Our practice serves patients from Richmond Hill, Markham, North York, and Vaughn, Ontario and surrounding communities.


Request A Dry Eye Appointment Today
You Have Dry Eye? Call 833-700-2133

Read More About Dry Eyes

dry eye treatments Thumbnail.jpg

What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

SPEEDE284A2 Questionnaire.jpg

Dry Eye Questionnaire

what causes dry eye.jpg

What Can Cause Dry Eye?

Thumbnail 2 treatments.jpg

Dry Eye Blog

Read Our Latest Posts

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