LipiFlow® is an FDA-cleared, cutting-edge treatment for dry eye syndrome caused by meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD. You may have heard or read that clogged oil glands are part of what causes dry eyes. Tears consist of three layers—the water (aqueous), oil (lipid), and mucus layers—that lubricate your eyes.
With MGD, the meibomian glands that release the oil layer into the tears become clogged. As a result, your eyes produce tears that do not have enough oil, thus decreasing their quality. The tears evaporate too fast, resulting in dry eye disease. LipiFlow helps unclog these congestions in a warm, gentle way.
LipiFlow, also called LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System, combines heat pulses with a gentle massage to melt and release oil from the clogged meibomian glands. As soon as the glands are free of clogs, they can go back to providing the oil necessary for healthy tears and proper lubrication.
LipiFlow treatment uses a tiny device resembling a scleral contact lens. It glides under and over your lids without touching your eyes. The device exerts gentle pressure on your eyelids as it warms to a temperature that can liquefy the clogging. The device provides different pressure levels as it massages through your eyelids to stimulate the natural oil flow.
Your eye doctor will put a drop or two of anesthetic eye drops in your eyes for comfort before starting the treatment. Usually, the treatment lasts about 12 minutes.
The treatment can take two weeks or less to ease dry eye symptoms. But it may take four to six weeks or a few months to start getting relief if your dry eye disease is severe. Your eye doctor at City Eyes Optometry Center may ask you to book follow-up visits to track your progress after completing the treatment. Remember that you can return to your routine soon after completing your treatment.
Studies suggest that a single session of LipiFlow treatment can relieve dry eye symptoms for up to nine months. In a medical trial, 79 percent of people who received the LipiFlow treatment reported dry eye symptoms improved within four weeks.
MGD is a chronic condition, and no known treatment can cure it permanently. But LipiFlow helps control it. Continuous relief from the treatment depends on various factors, including:
How long you have had MGD.
Your overall health and how your body functions.
Whether you continue to participate in activities that worsen the problem, such as spending a lot of time looking at your computer screen.
Without proper after-treatment care, MGD can turn into lasting discomfort and injury.
Not everyone who has undergone LipiFlow treatment has reported improved dry eye symptoms. A patient should have some qualifications to ensure the success of the treatment.
Good general eye health.
Enough number of open oil glands in your lower eyelids.
Complete blinking. That refers to blinks where your upper and lower eyelids meet or touch.
For more on how long it takes to see results from LipiFlow, visit City Eyes Optometry Center at our office in Sherman Oaks, California. You can also call (818) 960-1300 today to schedule an appointment.