Dry Eye Syndrome is considered a multi-factorial, chronic and progressive disease.
Nearly 30 million people in the US have reported symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome. There can be many root causes of the condition; therefore, it is important to have a thorough evaluation to discover what specifically may be contributing to your dry eye and to prescribe proper treatment.
Most have learned to live with eye discomfort and have become dependent on over-the-counter drops that offer only temporary relief. Most common symptoms include burning, watery, sandy and gritty feeling, and redness. In some cases, patients may have the condition without any symptoms at all!
We are beginning to understand that one component of Dry Eye Syndrome is an inflammatory process that causes damage to the ocular surface resulting in signs and symptoms.
There is another component to Dry Eye Syndrome that stems from eyelid structure and function. In this case, treatment must be targeted to improve oil secretions from glands that compose our eyelid structure, and to prevent further damage. The oils produced by these glands are essential for a healthy tear film and help to prevent quick evaporation of our tears after we blink. When glands are chronically inspissated or “clogged” with unhealthy oils, they begin to atrophy or die. Once the glands are gone they do not regenerate, further exacerbating dry eye symptoms. This is a chronic and progressive condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD.
LipiFlow is the only FDA-cleared device for removing dry eye gland blockages and restoring gland function and we are able to perform Lipiflow treatments at Advanced Laser Vision!
There are two FDA approved medications that target the inflammatory process of Dry Eye Syndrome in your tears (Restasis and Xiidra).
Restasis was first FDA approved in 2003, and has been proven to not only improve the quality of your tears, but also the quantity.
Xiidra was just recently approved in 2016 by the FDA for the treatment of signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome.
Now, with the LipiView tear film and gland imaging technology, as well as the LipiFlow treatment, we are able to more accurately diagnose and treat the root cause of MGD.
Through advances in the application of Vectored Thermal Pulsation technology, the LipiFlow treatment utilizes a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage to remove the obstructions in your meibomian glands.
At Advanced Laser Vision, a thorough evaluation will be performed to determine what specifically is causing your dry eye, and we will prescribe the best treatment option for you. It’s time to change your outlook on Dry Eye Syndrome, properly identify the root cause of your symptoms, and get treatment today!
- How Will The LipiFlow Treatment Help Me?
The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System effectively removes blockages of the meibomian gland utilizing a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage. Removal of the gland blockages is essential to improve gland function and reduce the progression of MGD.
- What Happens During The LipiFlow Treatment?
The LipiFlow treatment is performed on both eyes, over a 12-minute session. Heat and massage will work together to melt the hardened meibum and evacuate the glands with pulsating massage.
Is the treatment painful?
- Is The LipiFlow Treatment Painful?
No, a numbing drop will be applied to your eyes prior to the start of the treatment. The treatment requires insertion of a disposable scleral cup which protects the actual eye from direct heat or pulsation. The cornea is therefore protected for the duration of the 12-minute treatment. Patients have stated that treatment feels like a comfortable, warm massage to the eyelids.
- What Symptoms Will I Experience After LipiFlow?
You may experience some mild redness following the treatment. Because the treatment is evacuating the glands of oil and resetting them to begin normal oil production again, you should expect to experience a period of temporary dryness while the glands work to produce healthy oils again.
- Can I Return To Normal Activities After Treatment?
Yes, you may return to your daily activities immediately following the treatment. You will not need a driver to accompany you.
- Can I Expect Immediate Dry Eye Relief?
Most patients feel relief within 2-4 weeks. Approximately 80% of patients reported an improvement in symptoms by this time, but your outcomes will depend on the degree of severity of your MGD progression. This is an interventional treatment with the purpose being preservation of the glands you have left and preventing further gland loss.
- Are The Lipiflow Results Permanent?
Nearly 90% of patients in a 12-month post – LipiFlow duration study reported a 50% reduction in symptoms and a 3 fold increase in gland function, 1 year after receiving treatment. Over time, after treatment, the meibomian glands may become blocked again because of continued evaporative stress, which is caused by infrequent blinking from modern lifestyles and leads to thickening of the gland secretions and blockage of oil production. Again, depending on your degree of compromised gland structure, additional treatments may be necessary.