Where Can I find out more about the procedure and Dry eye?
Click here for more information or you can contact the office at 215-675-2404 to speak with our Dry Eye Advocate.
How do I find out if what I have is Evaporative Dry Eye?
Your doctor can conduct a series of evaluations and determine whether or not Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Evaporative Dry Eye are contributing to your chronic dry eye.
If I have Evaporative Dry Eye, what can I do about it?
In the past, the doctor may have sent you home and asked you to apply warm washcloths to your eye every day. You can still do so and continue omega supplements and drops. But, today you also have the option of using the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System, your doctor can address a leading cause of Evaporative Dry Eye during a single, in-office treatment.
Does it hurt?
In a clinical study, the average discomfort/pain score during treatment on a scale of 1-10 was 1.4 ± 1.4, which equates to awareness of heat and pressure without pain. For further information, talk to your doctor or the Practice Dry eye Advocate.
How long does the treatment take?
Prepare to be at the physician’s office for about an hour. The treatment is roughly 12 minutes, per eye, but both eyes are usually done at the same time. Prior to the procedure the doctor will look at your gland count and test to see what type of fluid is expressed. Additionally a debridement will be done by the doctor to remove caps that have formed on the glands prior to performing the LipiFlow procedure. This is billed separately to your insurance, depending inn your insurance you may be responsible for some or all of the cost.
Will Lipiflow provide permanent relief?
Evaporative Dry Eye is a chronic disease and no known treatment is completely permanent. Sustained relief from LipiFlow is a function of numerous factors including: how long you have had the disease, your age, physiology and general health, and whether you continue to engage in activities that exacerbate the problem (such as staring at a computer screen for long periods of time). Typically Lipiflow provides significant relief for nine to in excess of thirty-six months.
What will happen if I ignore this problem?
Evaporative Dry Eye is a chronic disease. Without effective treatment, symptoms are likely to worsen, including:
- Further discomfort
- Permanent loss of gland function
- Cell damage
- Visual degradation
- Inability to wear contact lenses
What begins as minor alterations to the tear film can turn into long-term pain and injury. Some patients with severe symptoms eventually report a drop-off in discomfort, which can mean that the nerves in the eye have stopped responding.
Is Dry Eye a common problem? What are the possible causes?
Evaporative Dry Eye affects as many as 100 million people throughout the world. It is estimated up to 40 million people in the United States suffer from mild to severe dry eye. Symptoms are the result of many things, including age, hormones, lifestyle and medications for other ailments. The most common cause of dry eye is lack of oil from the glands in the eyelids. This oil protects the tear film and prevents premature evaporation.
How long does it take to see results from the Lipiflow procedure?
In 84% of patients, gland secretions improve within four weeks. Most patients report symptom relief in two to four weeks. Patients who have had this chronic disease for more than a year report it can take 4-5 months to notice a difference.
Has there been a clinical trial of Lipiflow?
In a clinical study conducted, most patients (76%) who had the LipiFlow treatment reported improvement of their dry eye symptoms within two weeks. In the study, patients treated with the LipiFlow system showed improvement in oil secretions from the eyelid glands and in the time tears remain on the eye before evaporating.
The study also showed improvement, on average, in patient self-reported dry eye symptoms. At 4 weeks after LipiFlow treatment, 79% of patients reported improvement in dry eye symptoms.