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LipiFlow for Treating Dry Eye

June 25, 2021

Dry eye is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. The condition leaves patients suffering from pain and discomfort. Several treatments and remedies can alleviate the symptoms. 

In many cases, dry eye syndrome is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), which gets worse if left untreated. Symptoms of dry eye condition vary in intensity from one individual to the next. Most patients find that the traditional treatment options only provide temporary relief. 

Using LipiFlow Treatment

LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is an advanced form of treatment that uses technology to clear tear gland obstruction. The FDA-approved treatment is computer controlled and works with precision to restore the healthy function of the glands. 

The treatment is safe, comfortable, and quick, lasting about 12 minutes. The treatment helps restore the natural flow of oil to the tear film covering the surface of the eye. The results of LipiFlow treatment can last up to one year. 

How LipiFlow Works

The in-office MGD treatment works on both the inner and outer lid. The first step involves the application of an anesthetic eye drop. The LipiFlow system is then used to apply precise heat to the eyelids. The doctor will then massage the meibomian glands to loosen the oil that is trapped in the glands. Once loose, the contents are pushed up and out, all the while ensuring that the delicate eyelids are protected. 

Effective Gland Treatment 

The system effectively removes the meibomian blockages. Heat and massage melt the meibum that is hardened, evacuating the glands. Apart from removing the blockages, the procedure helps improve gland function. The treatment reduces or slows the progression of MGD. According to studies, most patients reported a 50 percent reduction of symptoms and an increase in gland function.

Safe and Painless Procedure

LipiFlow treatment is painless. During the procedure, a numbing drop is applied to each eye. A disposable scleral cup is inserted to protect the eye from pulsation or direct heat. This means that the cornea is protected during the duration of the short treatment. Most patients report experiencing a warm and comfortable eyelid massage.  

After LipiFlow Treatment

Some patients experience some mild redness after LipiFlow treatment. The procedure evacuates the glands of hardened oils, preparing them to begin normal production. This means that patients may experience temporary dryness before normal production resumes. After a short while, the glands work effectively to produce healthy oils.

The good news is that you can return to your normal activities soon after the treatment. You will not need to take time off for the procedure. Most patients experience relief from the symptoms within two to four weeks. The outcome of the treatment will depend on the severity or progression of the condition. The treatment is a form of intervention where the objective is to preserve the remaining glands and prevent further gland loss.

Additional treatment may be necessary over time depending on the gland structure. In some cases, the meibomian glands can become blocked again. This is usually due to continued evaporation caused by infrequent blinking. The gland secretions can become thick, causing blockage of oil production. When this happens, you need additional treatment.

For more on treating dry eyes, visit NVISION Eyecare at our office in Auckland, New Zealand. You can also call 09-884-0034 to book an appointment today.