What is Dry eye?
Dry eye is a progressive medical condition with health and lifestyle consequences if left untreated.
Some common symptoms of chronic dry eye include: a sandy or gritty feeing, chronic redness, blurred vision, constant watering, and/or the inability to comfortably wear your contacts for more than three to four hours. Severe symptoms could include: pain, extreme blurred vision, corneal scarring, and gland loss.
There are two primary forms of Dry Eye: Evaporative (which is associated with deficiency in the oily layer of your tears. and Aqueous Deficient (which is associated with deficiency in the watery layer of tears).
The most common type of dry eye disease is a progressive disease called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). 86% of dry eye patients have MGD. Meibomian glands reside along our upper and lower eyelids and they help to produce the oil needed for a thicker and healthier tear film. The thicker our tears are, the less likely they will evaporate and cause those irritating dry eye symptoms. When our meibomian glands become blocked and compromised from chronic inflammation, climate, computer use, and other everyday activities they slow down and stop producing that essential oil that is needed for our tears.
At the Carlson Eyecare Centers, we pride ourselves in providing a new standard of eyecare by bringing in the latest in innovation. Therefore, we have added a dry eye scan (Lipiscan™) and treatment procedure (Lipiflow®) to better serve our patients.
LipiScan™ is a high definition gland imager designed to image the meibomian gland structure. This is used to document how healthy and functional the glands are. A treatment plan without knowing the status of the meibomian glands can’t be optimally successful.
WHAT IS THE LIPIFLOW® SYSTEM?
The LipiFlow® System is an FDA approved medical device used by Optometric offices to apply heat and pressure to the eyelids to allow the lipids from the blocked eyelid glands to flow into the tear film. Your doctors at the Carlson Eyecare Centers will determine if the LipiFlow® System is an appropriate treatment option you based on a complete exam of your eye health, including evaluation for blocked glands (Lipiscan™) and associated dry eye symptoms.
WATCH VIDEO ABOUT THE LIPIFLOW® SYSTEM
WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR LIPIFLOW® TREATMENT?
The LipiFlow® System is intended for the application of localized heat and pressure therapy in adult patients with chronic cystic conditions of the eyelids, including meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye or lipid deficiency dry eye.
The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System consists of a Console and a single-use sterile device, known as the Activator, and has a drug-free mechanism of action. Eye care professionals use the LipiFlow System to treat MGD patients in-office with confidence and efficiency. The Lipiflow System represents more than 10 years of dedicated research and is protected by more than 30 patents.
Currently, this procedure is not covered by any insurances, although we are hoping this may change with time. I was the first one in my office to try the procedure and can say that it was easily tolerated and has really helped. See how it works here
WHAT ARE OTHER ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS FOR MGD AND EVAPORATIVE DRY EYE?
Possible alternative treatments for MGD and evaporative dry eye include:
- Manual expression of your eyelid glands by your doctor.
- Warm compress therapy and eyelid hygiene using scrubs and manual massage.
- Topical prescription medications such as Restasis®, Lotemax®, and Xiidra®.
- Over-the-counter tear replacements and lubricants for dry eye.
- Punctal plugs made of silicone or collagen inserted in the tear ducts.
- Cauterization (sealing) of the opening of the tear duct in the eye.
- Dietary Supplements to help open the tear ducts and secrete a better tear film.
- Oral medications to treat underlying disease.
- Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for eyelid inflammatory disease.
- Avenova® anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial eyelid spray.
- Amniotic membrane treatments.
- Specialty contact lens with liquid reservoir.
Call us today to be tested for Dry Eye Syndrome. Let’s coordinate a treatment plan to effectively halt its progression and resolve some of its symptoms.