Dry Eye Treatment with LipiFlow
Dry eyes are a multifactorial disease, meaning that there is no single cause. Instead, many factors contribute to the problem of dry eyes, including your environment, diet, prolonged near worm, genetic markers, and even hormones.
If you have been struggling with dry eyes and have done some research, you have likely stumbled across a treatment called LipiFlow. This non-invasive medical procedure aims to help combat one of the most common causes of dry eyes, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian glands are a series of tiny oil-producing glands that run along the rims of the upper and lower eyelids. They are responsible for producing a lipid (oil) layer that helps keep tears from evaporating too quickly from the surface of the eye. Without adequate oil production, you get dry eyes.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is simply when these glands become clogged, preventing oil from getting to the eye and long-term reducing the ability of the glands to produce oil. Nearly 90% of patients who experience dry eyes end up diagnosed with MGD. While there are several potential treatments for MGD, the simplest and most universally effective is LipiFlow.
How LipiFlow Works
The LipiFlow device, invented by Dr. Donald Korb and his Tear Science team, is specifically engineered to remove lipid and other blockages from meibomian glands using vectored thermal pulsation. In simpler terms, it applies gentle heat to your eyelids to begin to weaken the blocked oil, then adds light massage motions to loosen the blocked channels fully.
This combination of heat and motion re-opens meibomian glands, allowing for natural secretion to resume. It is entirely non-invasive and may get results without eye drops or additional medications, making it an option for nearly any patient suffering from MGD-related dry eye disease.
What to Expect from a Treatment
Most LipiFlow treatments take less than a quarter-hour to complete. And patients most often describe it as an almost spa-like experience.
As it takes time for the meibomian glands to re-adjust to being unclogged, it can take a few days to a week for symptoms to subside. Results vary by patient and the severity of MGD being treated. MGD is a disease that can’t be cured, but many patients see long-term dry eye relief of up to one or two years from a single LipiFlow treatment.
Does It Sound Too Good to Be True?
It can be easy to be skeptical of a procedure that seems simple, painless, and effective. LipiFlow does have a few possible side effects, including redness, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. But these side effects are rare and not permanent when encountered. LipiFlow is a safe treatment that many specialists are now considering the standard.
As we mentioned above, results will vary for each patient, especially depending on how long they have had MGD. As glands remain blocked, they begin to atrophy and lose function permanently. LipiFlow can only help reopen glands that still work. It can’t restore meibomian glands that have stopped functioning entirely.
Improve Your Results
Once your meibomian glands have reopened, it is a good idea to implement steps at home to help prolong the benefits of treatment. The longer you can keep them from becoming reclogged, the healthier the glands will remain throughout your life. Consider implementing the following after you receive a LipiFlow treatment or to combat dry eyes in general.
- Utilize warm compresses on your eyes.
- Divert air that blows directly into eyes, especially in cars.
- Use wraparound glasses when outside or working to limit debris buildups like pollen and dust.
- Take eye breaks when doing tasks for long periods, and blink to get the oil flowing.
- Ask your Optometrist if MGD eye drops are appropriate.
- Supplement with high quality omega 3 fatty acids.
LipiFlow Treatment Specialists in Asheville
Our eyes are our gateways to the world around us, and we shouldn’t trust their care to just anyone. LipiFlow and any other eye treatments require the care of a practiced specialist. Since 1989 Asheville Vision and Wellness has offered medical treatment for eye conditions, including infections, inflammation, foreign body, allergies, and dry-eye syndrome.
Conveniently located in South Arden, our optometrists will work to diagnose, treat, and form a management plan for your ocular health customized for you and your unique eye care needs. If you have been suffering from dry eyes, schedule an appointment today.
Our office offers LipiFlow treatments for qualifying patients. We can help determine the cause and get you on the path to clearer, pain-free sight.