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LipiFlow: Dry Eye Treatment
By Dr. Jeff Goodhew Updated: February 6, 2022
How does LipiFlow treat dry eye?
LipiFlow is an in-office procedure that involves thermal expression of the eyelids. In other words, it heats the oil glands (meibomian glands) of your eyelids and gently expresses them. The LipiFlow in-office treatment can melt and remove blockages in the meibomian glands. This rejuvenates them so they produce more and better oils to lubricate the surface of the eye, dramatically improving patients dry eye symptoms.
What is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and what are the causes?
We all have 20-30 glands in the upper and lower eyelids. They secrete oil onto the surface of the eye. This oil layer of the tear film is very important in keeping the eyes moist and comfortable. More than 85% of dry eye sufferers have some form of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). At Abbey Eye Care we image the meibomian glands of our dry eye patients to see how healthy they are and identify those that would benefit from a LipiFlow treatment.
A number of conditions can lead to changes in the structure and function of the MG’s. Some of these can be heavy computer use, contact lens wear, previous eye surgery and certain medications. If left untreated MGD usually becomes progressively worse over time. Making your eyes less and less comfortable.
What is the procedure like?
LipiFlow is performed in our office. First, anesthetic drops are placed in the eyes and the single use applicators are then inserted into each eye. The treatment procedure takes 12 mins in total. It involves two 6-minute cycles of heat (42.5 C) and gentle massage. Patients find the LipiFlow treatment to be very comfortable.
What results can I expect from a LipiFlow treatment?
More than 85% of patients receiving a LipiFlow treatment see an improvement in their symptoms. This improvement may be immediate in some patients or it may take a few weeks to receive the full benefi. Typically, the benefits are felt for 1 – 2 years afterwards.
Interested in LipiFlow? Here is what we recommend.
Dry eye disease is a multifactorial condition. To fully understand what is causing your dry eye symptoms we recommend that you have a full dry eye workup with one of our doctors. This involves a series of tests and diagnostic images that specifically look at dry eye. Once the underlying causes of your dry eyes are determined, we can then design a custom treatment plan to get at the root cause of your discomfort. The LipiFlow in-office treatment is the cornerstone of many of our dry eye treatment plans. We also offer other in-office treatments depending on the underlying cause of your disease. Talk to one of our dry eye experts today!
LipiFlow is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Learn more here.