Dry eye is one of the most common eye conditions, yet many people don’t even realize that they have it. The condition clearly takes its name from the main symptom that it causes, but it also has a range of other debilitating effects, from blurred vision and itchy, scratchy eyes, to redness and eye pain.
There are many different causes of dry eyes, including allergies, but one of the most common is a condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction. This is where hardened oil deposits form in the glands that are responsible for creating the oil that gives tear film its lubricating quality. Fortunately, there is a treatment that can help to counteract the effects of dry eyes and provide long-term relief. It’s known as LipiFlow.
The LipiFlow system uses thermal pulsation technology to treat dry eye that is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). It is extremely successful and available either as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other effective MGD therapies and treatments, such as artificial tears or medicated eye drops.
The LipiFlow device has two key components. The first is a device that is placed onto the upper and lower eyelids. This is then connected to the LipiFlow controller which is used to send heat and gentle pressure to the device on the eyes. Heat is delivered at a temperature of approximately 108.5°F to the inner eyelid, while pressure is simultaneously applied to the outer eyelid surfaces. When combined, these actions are designed to loosen, liquefy, and remove hardened oil deposits that have caused blockages in the meibomian glands that have resulted in the symptoms of dry eyes.
Each LipiFlow session is painless and takes just 12 minutes, making it easy to fit into even the busiest schedules. There’s no downtime and no worrying side effects. Instead, you can go back to your usual activities without giving your eyes or vision a second thought.
Exactly how many sessions of LipiFlow you’ll need will depend on how well your body responds to the treatment. However, studies have shown that the effectiveness of a single session could last for up to a year or more without the need for any further treatment.
The vast majority of patients will see an improvement in their dry eye symptoms within four weeks of their treatment. However, patients with very severe dry eye may not notice a significant difference for several months or more.
If you would like to learn more about treating dry eyes with LipiFlow, or if you would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, please contact our team at Dry Eye Center of Alabama and Famly Eye Care in in Homewood, Alabama at (205) 490-2322 today.