Scratchy, burning, sandy, gritty are ways that many describe dry eye. Vision can also be variable from this problem. Approximately 65% of these problems are do to the tears evaporating from the eye too quickly. The problem for these folks has to do with the meibomian gland production of oil for the tears. The glands become plugged and the oil concentration in the eye reduces. Tears evaporate quickly and this process causes many difficulties as noted above.
The current treatment for this problem involves artificial tears containing oil and lid massage with warm compress. Generally this can work reasonably well but the treatment can be cumbersome.
Enter a new procedure just approved by the F.D.A. but not in eyecare offices yet. Lipiflow warms and massages the eyelids, melts the obstructive material clogging the glands and clears the blockage without damage to glands or other delicate structures of the eye. It’s a 12-minute per eye procedure performed in a doctor’s office. Opening the blocked eyelid glands allows the body to resume the natural production of lipids (oils) needed for the tear film.
For the first time, the LipiFlow’s single-use eyepiece allows controlled application of warmth and massage to the eyelids, treating the affected meibomian glands in the upper and lower lids simultaneously. The device is designed to facilitate removal of the meibomian gland blockage without damage to glands or negative impact to delicate structures of the eye.