It is estimated that as many as 5 million U.S. adults suffer from dry eyes at any one time. For many of these patients, their symptoms will disappear as quickly as they surfaced, and they won’t experience any long-term effects from the condition. However, there are also many patients who suffer from chronic dry eyes, meaning that the symptoms that they experience last for months or even years. The only way to overcome them is to seek help from a professional. If you are unfortunate enough to experience dry eyes, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your treatment options.
LipiFlow is one of the solutions that may be recommended for you. Here’s what you need to know about dry eyes and how LipiFlow can help.
Our eyes are complex structures with many parts and functions. One of these is tear film production. The tear film is the moisture that covers the surface of our eyes and keeps them lubricated and hydrated. Although many people think that tear film is only water, is it actually comprised of a careful balance of water, oils, and proteins. Dry eyes are caused by one of several problems that can occur with the tear film. This could be:
An imbalance in the ingredients of the tear film, i.e. not enough oil
A blockage in the glands responsible for tear film production
The moisture draining from the eyes too quickly
Your eye doctor may be able to pinpoint the cause of your dry eyes, and this can be useful in recommending effective treatment.
LipiFlow is an innovative new solution for dry eyes that focuses on removing any hard deposits that could be blocking the glands, preventing enough tear film from reaching the eyes. It does this using a combination of massage and heat to soften and release them.
The LipiFlow process is simple and straightforward. Single-use, sterile applicators which are placed under and over the eyelids. Although they get very close to the surface of the eye, they don’t make any direct contact with it. Once the applicators are in place, the LipiFlow machine heats the applicators up to around 42∞ which helps to break down any hard deposits that may have formed in the glands and be blocking them. Meanwhile, the device also causes the applicators to pulse in a massage type action that further works to break down and eliminate the blockages.
The process is completely painless, although patients will feel some warmth and unusual sensations. It is also very fast, taking an average of 12 minutes per eye. You shouldn’t experience any side effects, and patients can go back to work or their other normal activities straight away. One session per eye is usually sufficient for patients to start to see an improvement in their dry eye symptoms.
LipiFlow treats the underlying cause of dry eyes rather than dealing with just the symptoms. This means that while some patients will start to see an improvement in the way that their eyes feel very shortly after treatment, it can take some time to fully restore tear film production and flow. This means that the results of LipiFlow are progressive and you will continue to experience a reduction in your symptoms for a number of weeks following your treatment. Optimal improvement in symptoms is usually around 6/8 weeks of the post-LipiFlow session.
If you are suffering from dry eyes and you would like to find out more about LipiFlow treatment or to schedule a consultation to discuss your suitability for this solution, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert eye care team in Perry, GA, and Bonaire, GA.