MGD can be caused by a number of factors, such as age, ethnicity, corrective lens use, high cholesterol, bacterial infection, and even certain medications. MGD can range from being relatively minor nuisance to completely debilitating to your quality of life.
What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, also called Meibomian Gland Disorder, is a condition caused by a blockage of the meibomian glands, which results in tear evaporation. The meibomian glands are located by the inner eyelid and control the lipids in the eye (meibum), which combine with water and mucus to create a thin film that consistently lubricates the eyes. Meibum is an essential part of your eye’s makeup as it prevents the evaporation of the eye’s tear film.
Why are Tears So Important?
Tears are important function of healthy, comfortable eyes. When dust or small particles enter the eye, tears can form, which in turn clean the eye while keeping the eye moist. Therefore, when tears evaporate too rapidly and the eyes become dry, it can cause itchy eyes, irritation, and general discomfort.
What are the symptoms of MGD?
- Blurred vision
- Burning and dry sensation
- Red, sore and gritty eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Pain and inflammation
- Watery eyes
- Crusty or sticky eyelids
How Do You Assess Whether LipiFlow Is Right for Me?
At the Dry Eye Center of Alabama Dry Eye Center, we use a number of advanced tools to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome and formulate a custom treatment plan. Below are a few of the advanced diagnostic tools we use when assessing your Dry Eye Syndrome, which help us decide which treatment plan is best for you, and whether it should include LipiFlow.
LipiView is a non-invasive 5-minute eye examination procedure that provides the doctor with an accurate digital picture of a patient’s tear film, including its lipid content and quality. This information helps the eye doctor decide whether the patient requires a LipiFlow procedure or needs to undergo other dry eye therapy treatments.
Dynamic Meibomian Imaging
Dynamic Meibomian Imaging (DMI) combines two innovative imaging technologies: adaptive transillumination and dynamic illumination. Each technology produces its own independent image of the meibomian glands. Both images are then processed, displayed, and combined to provide a more accurate and precise picture of the structure of the meibomian gland. These images allow the optometrist to detect any structural changes or blockages in the meibomian glands.
LipiScan is a non-invasive testing procedure which helps doctors better assess the health and structure of your meibomian glands. LipiScan generates a multidimensional view of the glands and plays a decisive role in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of DES and MGD.
Let’s Put an End to Your Dry Eyes
For more information about our LipiFlow treatment procedure and to find out whether it’s right for you, contact the Dry Eye Center of Alabama Dry Eye Center today. We will be happy to assess your condition and discuss your options. We provide caring and specialized Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction treatment to patients in Birmingham, Vestavia, Homewood, Mountain Brook, and throughout Alabama.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lipiflow
Who can be helped with LipiFlow?
LipiFlow can benefit most patients with moderate to severe Dry Eye Syndrome, which is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. At the Dry Eye Center of Alabama in Birmingham, our Dry Eye experts will conduct a complete assessment of your eye health and the quality of your tear film, and will provide you with a custom treatment plan. If you are diagnosed with MGD, the treatment plan will likely include LipiFlow.
How Much Does LipiFlow Cost?
The cost of LipiFlow varies. It is therefore best to schedule a consultation with our office so that we can quote you the exact price.
Is LipiFlow Covered By Insurance?
Some insurance plans do cover a portion of the costs. However, most insurance plans do not yet cover the cost of LipiFlow. However, we provide our patients with affordable payment solutions and treatment schedules so that you get the relief you need.
Does LipiFlow treat dry eyes?
LipiFlow can be an effective treatment option for Dry Eye Syndrome (caused by MGD); patients generally report experiencing significant relief from their symptoms following the procedure. Occasionally, follow-up LipiFlow sessions will be required, though the frequency and duration of the treatment will vary from patient to patient.
Is LipiFlow FDA approved?
Yes. LipiFlow is an FDA approved treatment for moderate to severe Dry Eye Syndrome caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.
Can I drive to a LipiFlow appointment? How should I prepare?
Yes, you can drive to a LipiFlow appointment. However, make sure that you are not wearing contact lenses to the visit. Don’t use artificial tear drops, eyelid creams, or ointments 24 – 48 hours before the appointment, and be sure to remove all eye makeup before the treatment.