We’re dedicated to providing our patients with the best quality eye care possible at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS. As the first practice in Kansas to offer the revolutionary LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System, we’ve had lots of time to perfect our craft. Countless individuals have had their chronic evaporative dry eye symptoms eradicated thanks to the help and expertise of Dr. Reena Patel, who wants all her patients to feel the relief she did from her past LASIK procedure.
Evaporative dry eye is something that can’t be ignored as it affects even the most mundane daily activities, such as reading or looking at things on a screen. That’s why we offer only the most cutting-edge solution that targets the root cause of your evaporative dry eye. Dr. Patel is dedicated to your well-being and will guide you through the entire process, but there are things you can familiarize yourself with before scheduling that consultation.
How Many LipiFlow Treatments Will I Need?
When it comes to the LipiFlow treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a cure or a permanent solution. For patients with severe dry eyes, repeat appointments may be necessary to maintain optimal eye health. However, the majority of patients can enjoy the benefits of their treatment for an extended period ranging from two to four years, even from a single treatment session. Most individuals find scheduling a repeat session every two years to be sufficient.
After undergoing the treatment, you can expect to see initial results within one to two weeks. Over the next few months, the full extent of the treatment’s effectiveness becomes noticeable. Remarkably, 76% of patients reported improvements within two weeks, with 84% experiencing relief within four weeks. Even after the four-week mark, a substantial 79% of patients continued to see ongoing improvements in their dry eye symptoms.
Terms To Know
Also known as the watery layer, the aqueous layer is the liquid part of our tears that’s responsible for lubricating and nourishing the front surface of our eyes. This crucial layer is primarily composed of water, electrolytes, and proteins. It is produced by the lacrimal glands, which are situated above the outer corners of our eyes. When we blink, this watery layer spreads evenly across the surface of our eyes, providing lubrication and washing away debris and irritants.
This layer plays a vital role in maintaining the health and clarity of our eyes. It helps to protect the delicate tissues on the surface of our eyes, ensuring smooth and comfortable vision. Additionally, the aqueous layer contains important substances, such as antibodies and enzymes, that contribute to the eye’s defense against infections. The chronic dry eye condition makes this layer lackluster and leads to discomfort, redness, and even vision disturbances.
Also referred to as the oily layer, this is the thin outermost coating that covers the aqueous layer of our tears. The lipid layer is made up of specialized oils produced by the meibomian glands (see term below). The purpose of this layer is to create a protective barrier that helps prevent the evaporation of the aqueous layer. It also acts as a sealant by ensuring that our tears stay in place without evaporating too quickly.
This layer helps maintain the integrity of our tear film to help it spread smoothly over the surface of our eyes with each blink, but if this layer is compromised, it can lead to excessive tear evaporation. This is what causes the onset of evaporative dry eye symptoms.
Colloquially referred to as the sticky layer, this is our innermost layer that lies directly on the surface of our eyes. As the name implies, this layer is primarily composed of mucins. These are specialized proteins produced by goblet cells located on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that covers the whites of our eyes. The mucin layer serves as a foundation for the tear film and works with the lipid layer to evenly distribute tears to the eye’s surface.
This layer is essential for encouraging the tears to adhere to the surface of our eyes to ensure they effectively coat the underlying tissues. The mucin layer aids in the uniform distribution and stabilization of the tear film, allowing it to maintain its protective function. An inefficient mucin layer can result in an unstable tear film and difficulties in maintaining proper lubrication. This is another possible culprit that causes you the discomfort you’re feeling.
This oily gland is actually a series of tiny glands located along our eyelid margins. These minuscule glands are specialized to produce an oily substance called meibum. This oil is important for maintaining the health and overall functions of our tear film. Meibum is located on our outermost tear layer and is a crucial component of the lipid layer. The meibomian gland’s primary function is secreting oils onto the surface of our eyes each time we blink.
These glands prevent excessive evaporation and help keep your eyes at optimal moisture levels. They are also responsible for contributing to the overall quality and strength of the tear film by providing and supporting a stable, healthy lipid layer. For those suffering from dry eye conditions, these glands run the risk of becoming blocked or dysfunctional. This can lead to a condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD is one of the most common culprits of dry eye symptoms.
This remarkable technology aids Dr. Patel in the assessment and diagnosis of your tear film. This non-invasive imaging device is specifically designed to evaluate the quality of your tear film and the function of your meibomian glands. When you come in for your initial LipiFlow consultation with us, you’ll undergo a session with the LipiView system to help us determine your candidacy and identify the right course of action for your unique treatment needs.
How Does It Work?
This advanced imaging technology is capable of precisely measuring and analyzing over one billion pieces of data, all compiled from recording you blinking and moving your eyes. This is necessary to understand the extent and severity of your condition. We do this by paying close attention to the lipid layer and observing what occurs when you blink.
During the examination, you’ll sit comfortably while a specialized camera captures high-definition images of your tear film and meibomian glands. This technology makes use of dynamic meibomian imaging (DMI), to provide a comprehensive evaluation. DMI captures detailed images of the meibomian gland structure and assesses its functionality.
Understanding Your Evaporative Dry Eye
Why Does It Occur?
Evaporative dry eye occurs when there is an imbalance in the tear film, specifically the lipid layer. This imbalance is often caused by a dysfunction in the meibomian glands. When these glands become blocked or their oil production decreases, the lipid layer becomes insufficient. As a result, tears evaporate more rapidly, leading to dryness and discomfort.
Factors such as aging, hormonal changes, environmental conditions, and certain medications can contribute to this gland dysfunction. Lifestyle choices, such as prolonged digital device use or frequent exposure to dry or windy environments, can also exacerbate evaporative dry eye symptoms. The neat thing is that no matter your own personal reason for developing this condition, LipiFlow will treat the underlying cause for guaranteed relief from symptoms!
How Do I Know If I Have It?
Recognizing the symptoms is the first step in understanding your eye health. While it’s essential to consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis, there are signs you can identify on your own. Common symptoms of evaporative dry eye include persistent dryness, a gritty or sandy sensation in the eyes, redness, itching, and a burning or stinging feeling. You may also experience excessive tearing, as your eyes try to compensate for the lack of moisture.
Let Your Spirits Fly: Say Goodbye To Chronic Dry Eye
The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is a game-changer in the treatment of chronic dry eye. Contact us today at Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita, KS via phone or email so that we can get started helping you find relief from your discomfort. We also serve the Bel Aire, Goddard, Maize, and Park City areas in addition to Wichita. Let Dr. Patel help you see the world with clarity and comfort once again with this one-of-a-kind treatment.