When dry eye is stubborn and long-established, it’s time to bring in the big guns.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (or blocked oily tear glands) is the root cause of three quarters of all dry eye problems. Treatment for this disorder range from home therapies (such as warm compresses and eyelid massage) to more effective professional in-house treatments, like LipiFlow, that often give fast and long-lasting results.
What is LipiFlow?
LipiFlow is the ultimate professional in-house treatment for dry eyes caused by blocked Meibomian glands. These glands, situated along the margins of the upper and lower eyelids, are responsible for producing the oily component of your tear film. If the secretions become thick or cloudy and no longer flow, the glands become blocked, which ultimately has a devastating effect on your tear film.
How does LipiFlow work?
Lipiflow applies safe, controlled heat and gentle pulsing massage from the outer and inner surface of the eyelids, and clears the blocked ducts.
You can watch an excellent short video on LipiFlow here.
The activator is a device that sits close to your eye but vaults your sensitive cornea, so there is no pressure on the eyeball. It applies heat from the inside of the eyelids. Gentle pulsing pressure is applied to the outside of the eyelids, resulting in blockages in the Meibomian glands being effectively cleared.
Is LipiFlow any better than home therapies?
Yes, absolutely! You can think about LipiFlow as being similar to the professional clean and polish your dental hygienist performs once or twice a year using specialist tools.
This is a far more effective process than what you can accomplish at home even with regular brushing and flossing.
LipiFlow is often used to kick-start effective management of evaporative dry eyes where other therapies (home and inhouse) have proved ineffective. LipiFlow is a relatively expensive treatment, and is often reserved for more established dry eyes. It can lead to spectacular results in suitable patients. It can be a game-changer in cases of stubborn dry eyes that haven’t responded to treatments such as BlephEx or IPL.
What does the research show?
In a clinical study, 79% of patients reported improvement in overall dry eye symptoms (ranging from 10% to 100% improvement) within four weeks of a single LipiFlow treatment.