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Hope for Dry Eyes: TearScience LipiFlow Treatment  

Dry eye is a widespread condition that affects millions of people in the United States. A  2013 study found that many patients feel the personal effects of having dry eye disease  (also known as DED) and that it negatively impacts their quality of life in the workplace,  at school, and at home. The same study found that dry eye treatments should focus on improving a patient’s quality of life and increasing awareness about the personal impacts. Here at Medical Eye Center, we offer one of the treatments for dry eye that does just that: helps improve our patients’ lives. Here is what you need to know if you are considering the LipiFlow treatment: 

Why would someone need this treatment? 

Dry eye has a number of causes (read more about those here), but one of the primary ones is called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Risk factors include aging, stress,  androgen depletion, and contact lens use. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is a  progressive and chronic condition that occurs when the glands in the eye are not secreting enough oil or the oil is of poor quality. This means that the eyes are not adequately lubricated. In addition, when the oil glands get clogged, they can produce granular oil, which irritates the eye. Symptoms can include: 

  • Dryness 
  • Itching or burning 
  • Stickiness or a “crusty” feeling 
  • Watering eyes 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Redness 

86% of dry eye sufferers have a root cause of MGD, and LipiFlow can give them a  tangible treatment option.  

How do I know if it’s right for me? 

Here at Medical Eye Center, we are a leader in eye care, and we pride ourselves on matching our patients to the best procedure for them. Before undergoing this procedure, our expert eye doctor would conduct a consultation and determine the cause and history of your dry eye disease. Our eye doctors may also recommend a  LipiView, which measures extremely detailed images of your eye’s tear film. The  LipiView is non-invasive and performed right here in our office. It helps your eye care provider view your tear film as an array of reflected colors. With the help of these tools,  your eye care provider will be able to determine if you have evaporative dry eye or  Meibomian Gland Disorder. Many patients who have been diagnosed with MGD are candidates for LipiFlow.  

What is the TearScience LipiFlow treatment? 

LipiFlow is a type of thermal massage therapy for the eyelids. It uses thermal pulses to stimulate the Meibomian glands and release the ineffective oils from the eye, causing the eye to produce new, healthy oils. Initially, your eye care provider will place topical anesthetic drops into your eyes and then place the activators. This is done with minimal discomfort and most patients simply relax while it’s taking place. The devices that deliver therapeutic energy to the eyes are single-use, sterile, and designed to protect all of the delicate intricacies of your eyes. Safety and comfort are the top priority during this treatment, and patients report little or no pain/discomfort. The procedure takes approximately twelve minutes to complete, and both eyes are done simultaneously. 

What can I expect after this treatment is complete? 

Some patients notice immediate results within a few days, while others take up to 8  weeks to see the full positive effects. Other patients may take longer, depending on their  Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Because dry eye is a multi-faceted condition, it’s essential to have an eye care specialist who follows up on your treatment and helps you achieve the full positive effects. The results will vary from patient to patient, but a single  LipiFlow treatment can last up to two years. Be sure to speak with your eye care provider to understand your specific situation and the steps you can take to enhance your recovery. 

LipiFlow is the first and only treatment of its kind that addresses the root cause of dry eye and not just the symptoms. It helps stimulate the eyelid glands to produce healthier oils and gives you more than temporary relief. This procedure is a powerful way to manage your dry eye disease and can help break the cycle of worsening symptoms. So if you are ready to tackle your dry eye disease at the source, please reach out today to schedule your consultation. 

Please note that the below information is intended to be observed as guidelines and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor with any questions you may have regarding dry eyes or a medical condition.

Sources: 

https://www.dryeyeandmgd.com/treatment 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660735/ 

https://www.medicaleyecenter.com/specialties/dry-eye/

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