Dry eyes are hardly a minor issue. They’re often accompanied by itching, burning, pain, and blurred vision. If you suffer from dry eyes, you may find it difficult to drive, use the computer, or engage in many other essential, everyday activities. Fortunately, LipiFlow can provide a fast-acting and long-lasting solution. Designed to treat evaporative dry eye, LipiFlow is a thermal, eyelid massage that can correct the problem right at its source.
How and Why LipiFlow Works
The meibomian glands produce special oils that lubricate the eyelids. If your meibomian glands are not producing a sufficient amount of oil, or if they’ve become blocked, evaporative dry eye will occur. During a LipiFlow treatment, a comfortable and consistent level of heat is applied to the affected area along with slight, pulsating pressure. This removes liquified blockages that may be preventing the meibomian glands from functioning normally. Once these blockages are removed, your eyelids will be naturally able to lubricate themselves and the symptoms of dry eye will abate.
What to Expect During Treatment
During this fast, FDA-approved procedure, you’ll be reclining in a comfortable chair. A small, disposable activator will be inserted into the upper and lower eyelids. This tiny unit has a special shape to prevent contact with the surface of your eye and the cornea. For approximately 12 minutes, it will deliver light pulses and heat to the meibomian glands to expedite the elimination of blockages and other impurities, and to stimulate proper functioning.
Determining Whether LipiFlow Is Right for You
There are two primary causes of chronically dry eyes. These include evaporative dry eye and aqueous deficient dry eye. While evaporative dry eye is the result of an insufficient oily layer within the tears, aqueous dry eye is caused by an insufficient water layer. LipiFlow is only effective for correcting problems resulting from blockages within the meibomian glands that diminish oil production. If you’ve been diagnosed with aqueous dry eye, an alternative method of treatment is required.
During your consultation appointment, a special test can be performed by the doctor called LipiView. This is a comprehensive assessment of the oil or lipid layer on the eyes, and the overall health of the meibomian glands. LipiView can accurately determine whether or not dry eyes are caused by an insufficient water layer or an insufficient lipid layer.
What to Expect After Your Treatment
Most patients notice a significant decrease in dry eye symptoms within just two to four weeks after their procedures. This includes less watering, itching, burning, and blurring of vision. Each person is different and thus, while some patients only need a single LipiFlow treatment to make their dry eye symptoms disappear, others require several, follow-up appointments.
To learn more about LipiFlow and find out whether it’s the right treatment for you, call us today to schedule an appointment at the Wichita Vision Institute!