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432 4 Ave S 4th Ave S Lethbridge AB T1J 4C9 (403) 327-5035
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19 Broadway N #15 Raymond AB T0K 2S0 (403) 752-4420
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Lethbridge, AB 403-327-5035

Raymond, AB 403-752-4420

For millions of Canadians, dry eye is a frustrating disease that produces uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms. Our arid Southern Alberta climate can exacerbate these symptoms, as can seasonal allergies (whose symptoms are often confused with dry eye… and vice versa).

Most Canadians will experience dry eye first hand in some capacity, be it a temporary result of medication or surgery, or a result of long-term impacts from dry eye syndrome.

What is Dry Eye?

When your eyes are not properly lubricated, be it a result of a lack of tear production or due to the tears being of low quality and evaporating quickly, the resulting condition is called dry eye. It can range from temporary to chronic and is influenced by a variety of factors.

Causes of Dry Eye

Dry eye has many influences, including:

  • Climate – Alberta’s relatively arid climate is known to contribute to the worsening of symptoms
  • Medication – Certain medications can cause dry eye as a side effect, though this type of dry eye is usually temporary
  • Surgery – Cataract surgery and laser eye surgery both can produce dry eye as a side effect, though it is typically temporary
  • Dehydration


  • A gritty feeling in the eye, as if a piece of sand is stuck in it
  • Burning or stinging in the eye, especially when blinking
  • A sticky, stringy discharge from the eye
  • Excessive eye watering followed by prolonged periods of dryness
  • Hazy, blurry vision
  • Periods of significant eye fatigue (eyelids feel heavy, hard to keep eyes open, etc.)
  • Difficulty reading or concentrating
  • Inability to cry, even when emotionally or physically stressed

These symptoms may be made worse due to ambient air quality.

Diagnosing & Treating Dry Eye

Dry eye is diagnosed via a comprehensive eye exam. Once diagnosed, treatment depends on its severity.

Treating Dry Eye At Home

There are several things you can do that will influence the symptoms and severity of dry eye. Try the following:

  • Ensure you are appropriately hydrated
  • Increase ambient air humidity (a portable humidifier is effective for small rooms/offices)
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid areas with poor air quality (dust, smoke, allergens, etc.)
  • Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses when outdoors or in areas where poor air quality is present

Doctor-Assisted Dry Eye Treatments

We design treatment programs for dry eye based on your symptoms, medical history, eye health, and other intangible factors. These treatments include:

  • Artificial tears (eye drops) of varying viscosities
  • Medicated eye drops designed to reduce eye inflammation
  • Punctal plugs, which greatly reduce tear evaporation
  • Restasis
  • LipiFlow

If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye we encourage you to visit our office in downtown Lethbridge and meet with one of our Optometrists. While dry eye can’t always be cured, it can usually be successfully managed and its symptoms controlled.