Dry eye syndrome may not be particularly serious, but it can make day to day life difficult for the sufferer. Characterized by stiff, dry and gritty eyes, blurred vision and redness, most people will experience at least one episode of dry eyes during their lifetime. It may resolve itself, but if it doesn’t, you will need treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome is much more common than you might expect. An estimated 5 million Americans aged over 50 are affected, and the number of people younger than this who have dry eyes is steadily increasing, believed to be in part by caused by excessive screen time. Other causes of dry eyes include taking certain medications, working in dry environments and having a hormonal imbalance. Whatever the cause, if your dry eye is affecting your ability to live a fulfilling life, you need to seek treatment to get the condition under control.
If you have recently been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome, you may be wondering what treatment options are available to you. There is a selection of therapies that your eye doctor may recommend from lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on your screen time, to eyedrops. One solution that is extremely popular, particularly amongst patients whose dry eye syndrome is believed to be primarily caused by blockages in the glands responsible for producing tear film, is LipiFlow.
What is LipiFlow?
LipiFlow is a revolutionary technological system that uses thermal pulsation in order to release blockages in the glands, thus treating the cause of dry eye syndrome and relieving the patient of their symptoms.
The LipiFlow device is a sterile, single-use piece of equipment. When activated, it releases gentle pulses of heat and mild pressure to the meibomian glands which clears the blockages that have prevented adequate tear flow to the eyes. To do this is delivers heat of approximately 42.5C to the inner eyelid while placing pressure on the outer eyelid surfaces simultaneously. In doing so, any hardened meibomian lipids that have caused a blockage are loosened, liquefied and then passed out of the gland.
The process is completely non-invasive and takes around 12 minutes per eye. There is no need for anesthetic, and the only effects that you should experience during the process is some mild heat and pressure. There is no downtime, so patients can return to work or their other usual daily activities immediately after their appointment.
LipiFlow has a success rate of around 86% and it takes an average of 3 days for patients to see an improvement in their symptoms. The majority of patients continue to see a progressive reduction in the effects of the condition until they are no longer being affected by them.
If you are suffering from dry eye syndrome and would like more information about the LipiFlow system, our experienced eye care specialists are on hand to answer your questions. Alternatively, contact our offices to arrange a consultation to see if you are a suitable candidate for LipiFlow treatment.