Dry eye syndrome (DES or dry eye) is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from minor irritation to the inability to wear contact lenses and an increased risk of corneal inflammation and eye infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye
Persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation on your eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome. These symptoms alone may be enough for your eye doctor to diagnose dry eye syndrome. Sometimes, he or she may want to measure the amount of tears in your eyes.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a leading cause of Dry Eye Disease. 86% of dry eye patients have MGD, and yet it is very often overlooked.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD?
Healthy Meibomian glands that line your upper and lower eyelids secrete oil with every blink. This oil, or lipid, serves as a critical component of a healthy tear film in that it helps prevent tear film evaporation. When the glands are not functioning correctly, it is called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD.
MGD is a leading cause of Dry Eye Disease and can be the source of dry eye symptoms, such as burning, stinging, and itching. However, even patients without symptoms (asymptomatic) could have MGD.
Common Symptoms of MGD:
- Dryness – a constant sandy or scratchy sensation
- Watery eyes (counterintuitive, but a common symptom)
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision that fluctuates throughout the day
- Discomfort in windy or dry conditions
- Difficulty performing visual tasks, such as reading, watching TV and driving
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Constant use of eyedrops
- Symptoms that worsen late in the day
What causes MGD?
MGD is caused by anatomical changes in the Meibomian glands. If left untreated, MGD may worsen over time. The symptoms include irritation, inflammation, and eye dryness. However, 1 in 5 MGD patients have no symptoms making an MGD evaluation a good idea for everyone. Because MGD is chronic and progressive, it becomes worse the longer it goes untreated. The good news is that there are effective steps you can take if you are diagnosed with MGD that can help to minimize its long- term impact.
If you have MGD, LipiFlow is an automated treatment that helps clear away gland obstruction and restore gland function. The treatment is routinely performed in a single office visit, and takes only 12 minutes, but the results could last for up to twelve months
What is LipiFlow?
LipiFlow—The only FDA-approved treatment procedure that opens and clears oil glands, allowing them to regain production of the oils needed for healthy tears.
LipiFlow is a revolutionary new technology, that uses heated massage of the eyelids to eliminate blockages in the meibomian glands. The Lipiflow procedure sends constant soft pressure in pulses over the 12-minute treatment program. These pulses use heat to break down the clogged glands. Once the glands are unclogged, oil will reach the eye and prevent tears from drying out too quickly.
With more than 400,000 treatments worldwide and growing, patients just like you are experiencing the proven benefits of the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System:
- LipiFlow is a safe and designed to be a comfortable, FDA-cleared, in-office treatment for the inner and outer lid treatment of MGD.
- After an initial anesthetic eye drop, LipiFlow applies precise heat to the inner eyelids and gently massages the Meibomian glands to loosen the oil trapped within the glands.
- Once loosened, LipiFlow then pushes the contents up and out while protecting the delicate structure of the eyelids.
- This treatment is designed to restore the natural oil flow to the tear film that covers the eye’s surface.
Call us today at (425) 251-9200 to schedule a dry eye evaluation and see if LipiFlow is right for you!