There’s a new dry eye treatment in town and is taking the community by storm; we are talking about LipiFlow thermal pulsation system and it is rapidly growing in popularity in the US and Canada. LipiFlow works by unclogging your meibomian glands and thus preventing the rapid evaporation of moisture in your eyes.
Patients suffering from dry eye had depended on teardrops such as Restasis to provide the missing moisture and temporarily relief dry eye symptoms. Many patients went through 6 or more brands before they would find one that provided enough comfort; spending money in the process.
It is important to explain the complexity of dry eye in order to understand how LipiFlow works. Dry Eye Disease symptoms can be mild and just bothersome to chronic and life altering. Patients experience burning, itching, redness, light sensitivity, sandy feeling inside the eyes, amongst other symptoms. In more severe cases, these symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as driving and reading.
Dry Eye Disease is divided into two categories: Evaporative and Aqueous Dry Eyes. The difference between the two comes from how the dryness occurs:
- Aqueous Dry Eyes occur when not enough quality tears are being produced, most of the times this is a result of a deficiency in the lacrimal gland.
- Evaporative Dry Eye – also known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) – is; however, much more common and as the name implies, dryness occurs when the moisture in the eye evaporates faster than normal. Your eyes are producing enough quality tears; however, evaporation occurs when the lipid layer (the “oily layer”) fails to prevent the moisture in the eye from sticking around.
How does LipiFlow treat Dry Eye Disease?
As we mentioned earlier, LipiFlow works with the meibomian glands to prevent evaporation. The meibomian glands are the ones in charge of producing the oily layer that help keep moisture in place. These glands can become clogged and as a result much less oil is produced.
LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation technology applies controlled heat to the inner eyelid, and mild intermittent pressure releasing lipids from the blocked Meibomian glands. It does this without damage to the glands or the delicate structures of the eye. LipiFlow treats the upper and lower eyelids simultaneously.
According to their website, 79% of patients in a clinical study reported improvement of their overall dry eye symptoms within four weeks of treatment. If you have been suffering from chronic dry eye and suspect that MDG might be the cause of your problems, consult with your doctor to see if LipiFlow is right for you. For mild dry eye sufferers, there are other treatment options available. There are also things you can do at home; these treatment options include better nutrition, home remedies and blinking exercises.
Don’t know if you suffer from mild or chronic dry eye? Ask your doctor about the TearLab Osmolarity Test; a fast, pain-free, and incredibly accurate diagnostics tool to help you understand your dry eye level.
Do you think LipiFlow might be right for you? Want to know what others are going through? Join our forum and find out!