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What Is a LipiFlow Procedure?
Lipiflow is a treatment for those suffering from dry eye syndrome. It focuses on one of the leading causes of dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). When these glands stop producing their lipids (natural oils), the tear film becomes inconsistent, or sometimes nonexistent, and begins to dry out the eye. MGD's cause of evaporation of the tears and dryness not only causes dry eye syndrome but can even affect the eyelids and agitate them, causing blepharitis, making this treatment even more vital in preventing terrible eye conditions. Lipiflow technology is a 12-minute procedure composed of a small applicator placed on the eye and stimulates the eyelids through heat energy and pulsation, thus, unblocking the meibomian glands and allowing the lipids to restore oil to the eyes. This procedure is unique in solving the dry eye epidemic as it treats the root problem as opposed to temporary alternatives.
How Much Does a LipiFlow Treatment Cost?
At this time, Lipiflow is not covered by medical insurance. The price is $550 per eye, making it $1,100 overall. In some practices, this also covers your assessment and follow up appointment too. Prices may range from practice to practice and in different countries. Talk with your local dry eye specialist for further information.
How Long Does LipiFlow Last?
Results will vary based on the patient, however, in most cases, the treatment is effective for up to 1-2 years. Unfortunately, this is not a more permanent solution to the dry eye crisis. But it certainly is a more pleasant and reliable alternative to eye drops that will last for about a day, and sometimes not even that well. You will begin to see the results within a couple of weeks after treatment.
How Effective Is Lipiflow?
This will depend on the patient and is subjective to how aggressive their chronic dry eye is and if their optometrist finds it helpful. It will ultimately be up to you to decide if you would rather worry about putting in eye drops every day or having stable treatment that can last you 1-2 years. For its lasting ability and level of relief, it's considered more effective than eye drops or other temporary solutions.
What Are the Side Effects of LipiFlow?
Lipiflow is FDA-approved and safe to use for treatment. Rare side effects that may occur are inflammation, redness, stinging, burning, blurred, sensitivity to light, discharge, and dryness.
How Many LipiFlow Treatments Do You Need?
This will also vary from patient to patient, so this would be a conversation between you and your dry eye specialist. However, if results last for 1-2 years, and you feel the treatment is working, you may want to discuss with your doctor about treatment every few years or so.