June 07, 2021
There are many different conditions that can affect the health of our eyes and the quality of our vision. Studies estimate that around 5 million adults in the United States will have an eye condition known as dry eye at any given point in time. This common problem can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, which can last for weeks, months, or even years without treatment. These may come and go or remain persistent. Either way, many patients need the intervention of their eye doctor to obtain relief. One of the treatment options that you may be recommended is LipiFlow.
Aside from the dryness that characterizes the condition, other symptoms include:
Sensitivity to light
Stringy mucus in and around the eyes
Scratchy, burning sensation in your eyes
Difficulty driving at night
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Our eyes rely on a layer of tear film to help keep them hydrated and able to move comfortably. The tear film is a complex combination of oils, water, and proteins, which work together to ensure is it the perfect consistency. Dry eye occurs when something disrupts the production of any of these elements, or the tear film drains from the eyes too quickly. There can be a range of reasons for this, including:
Taking certain medications
Blockages in the glands that produce tear film
When blockages occur in the glands that are responsible for producing tear film, it is sometimes referred to as meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD. LipiFlow is one of the most effective treatments for resolving dry eye caused by MGD.
LipiFlow is an advanced treatment technique that has been specifically developed to remove blockages in the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oil needed for tear film.
LipiFlow works using a combination of massage and heat to soften any hardened oil deposits so that they can be released through the glands and reach the tear film. The treatment is non-invasive and painless. Single-use, sterile applicators are placed onto the area around the eyes. Once they are in place, the LipiFlow device heats the applicators to around 42°. At the same time, the machine emits pulses that travel to the applicators. The combination of heat and massage helps to remove blockages quickly and effectively. The entire process takes around just 12 minutes per eye. After treatment, there is no downtime, and you will be able to go back to your usual activities as soon as you leave.
Many patients will notice a considerable improvement in their symptoms after just a single treatment, but a course of sessions is usually recommended to achieve the optimal effect. The effects of LipiFlow are also progressive, meaning that although your symptoms will start to ease immediately, they should continue to improve for some weeks even after the treatment has concluded.
Find out if you are a candidate for LipiFlow dry eye treatment, contact Maine Coast Eye Care in Rockport, ME at 207-887-0022 to book an appointment.