LipiFlow® treatment now available!
The eye is a very complex system, and it usually cares for itself, producing tears that wash the eye and nourish it, keeping the surface healthy and comfortable.
But we often ask a lot of our eyes. We work at computers for hours on end, we spend time in dry air, we expose our eyes to smoke or too much sunlight. Airplane cabins, allergies, and medications like antihistamines and antidepressants are often part of modern life. All these environmental factors can lead to Dry Eye Syndrome, a condition in which the eye stops producing enough tears, or tears of high enough quality, to do the job tears usually do in taking care of the eyes.
Some people also find that they produce fewer tears as they get older. Others have a genetic predisposition to dry eyes, and there is recent research suggesting that Dry Eye Syndrome can also be a result of choosing foods high in fats made from corn or soybeans (omega-6 fats) rather than healthier fat sources like salmon or flax seeds (omega3 fats).
Dry Eye can cause itching, burning, stinging, red eyes, and a feeling of tired or scratchy eyes. Dry Eye can make it harder to tolerate contact lenses, too.
At The Eye Center, we have a Dry Clinic just for our patients who suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome. Since there are so many possible causes and contributing factors, we work with each patient individually to identify the best options for treatment.
At The Eye Center, we vow to start your treatment with the most simple and inexpensive option. Some options are available without a prescription, including warm compresses, generic artificial tears, or drinking more water. If these measures don’t solve the problem, we will then do more advanced clinical testing to arrive at the diagnosis that may suggest more effective treatment. We may have to adjust systemic medications, adjust intake of artificial hormones, suggest a vitamin regimen or treat a chronic eyelid infection.
New! LipiFlow® for MGD
You don’t have to live with the constant discomfort of dry eye, thanks to a new FDA-cleared electronic treatment called LipiFlow®. (The Eye Center is the first area clinic approved for this treatment.)
LipiFlow goes beyond treating symptoms and actually treats a disease called MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction), the root cause of most dry eye. MGD occurs when the protective oil that normally flows from the eyelid glands slows or stops. LipiFlow simultaneously warms and gently massages inner eyelids, unblocking glands and restoring natural oil production in your eyes.
Get relief now. Schedule an appointment today with The Eye Center, and we’ll determine if LipiFlow is right for you.
86% diagnosed with dry eye have MGD.
Symptoms of MGD
- + Dryness
- + Burning
- + Itching
- + Stickiness/Crustiness
- + Watering
- + Light Sensitivity
- + Red Eyes
- + Foreign Body Sensation
- + Chalazion/Styes
- + Intermittent Blurry Vision
- What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?
- MGD occurs when the Meibomian glands, located in the eyelids, do not sufficiently produce and release the oils needed to protect and maintain a healthy tear film. This causes the watery layer in the tear film to evaporate. LipiFlow removes blockages in the glands to restore their function. Hear a pronunciation of “meibomian gland” here.
- How do I know if I’m a candidate for the LipiFlow® treatment?
- The physicians at our Dry Eye Clinic can diagnose the causes of your dry eye and recommend if LipiFlow is the right course of treatment.
- How is that determination made?
- During your advanced dry eye evaluation one of the specially trained dry eye coordinators will measure your eyes with a specialized camera called LipiView®. LipiView allows us to evaluate the lipid (oil) layer of your tears and the structure of the oil glands in your eyelids.
- Is LipiFlow an FDA-cleared procedure?
- Yes, and it’s the only FDA-cleared electronic device for treatment of MGD that removes gland blockage and restores gland function.
- How does it work?
- Mild anesthetic eye drops used in each eye for comfort and the applicators are placed on the eyelids. LipiFlow simultaneously applies heat and gentle warm and gently massage to the inner and outer eyelids to unblock the oil glands and restore natural oil production in your eyes.
- How long does it take?
- The procedure itself takes about 12 minutes per eye, and in most cases both eyes are treated at the same time.
- Is it painful?
- No. Most patients describe LipiFlow as soothing, and some even sleep during the procedure!
- What’s the outcome if I ignore my MGD?
- MGD is a chronic disease, if blockages are left untreated the glands will lose their structure and stop working completely. Damage to the gland structure cannot be reversed and symptoms will only worsen.
- Is this a cure for MGD?
- There is no cure to date. The best course of treatment is to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages and limit progression by removing any blockages in the glands to preserve their structure and restore their function.
- Will insurance cover the procedure?
- Insurance will not cover the LipiView test or the LipiFlow treatment. The initial examination is generally covered by insurance. Any out-of-pocket charges, deductibles and co-pays are dependent on your individual policy. Feel free to call us and we’ll be happy to help you identify what is covered in your plan.
- How can I learn more about LipiFlow?
- The website dryeyeandmgd.com offers lots of helpful information, including a MGD Speed questionnaire test. You may also call us with any questions, and one of our highly trained Dry Eye Coordinators will assist you in any way we can.