There Are Two Main Forms of Dry Eye Disease. Are You Treating the Right One?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or Evaporative Dry Eye is a real disease that can affect vision and quality of life. If left untreated, the disease can worsen. Unfortunately, the underlying cause of dry eye disease has been difficult to identify and treat effectively – leaving sufferers frustrated and unable to find long- term relief for dry eye symptoms. Now, with breakthrough technology, it’s possible to treat a root cause of Evaporative Dry Eye: a blockage of eyelid glands called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. These blocked eyelid glands result in a deficiency in the tear film oil, which is responsible for preventing the tears from evaporating too quickly. This condition results in dry eye discomfort that can affect the ability to lead a normal lifestyle. If you have blocked eyelid glands and Evaporative Dry Eye, there’s a clinically-proven treatment performed in your doctor’s office that has the potential to help reduce your dry eye discomfort by treating a root cause of the problem.
As many as 86% of patients with Dry Eye symptoms have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. If you're like many people with dry eye symptoms, your condition is related to blocked meibomian glands and an inadequate protective layer of oils in your tears.
Tears are made up of three layers:
- Lipid (oil) layer: lubricates and prevents evaporation
- Aqueous (water) layer: nourishes and protects the cornea
- Mucin layer: adheres tears to the eye
The eyelid glands called Meibomian glands create the lipid (oil) layer of the tear film. Evaporative Dry Eye disease is most often caused by a blockage or obstruction in the eyelid glands, which can lead to a lipid deficiency in the tears.
Common dry eye symptoms are:
- Discomfort and irritation
- Grittiness or feeling of a foreign body in the eye
- Burning or stinging sensation
- Vision disturbance
- Sensitivity to light
Lifestyle impacts from dry eye are:
- Difficulty performing visual tasks, such as reading, using a computer, driving and watching television
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Constant use of eye drops
- Trouble being out in the sun
- Symptoms that worsen late in the day
See the tear film.
With LipiFlow®, Treat the Cause of Evaporative Dry Eye
Treatment of evaporative dry eye involves relieving obstructions of blocked eyelid glands by applying a combination of localized heat therapy and pressure. Previous approaches, such as the use of warm compresses, can be inconvenient and of limited effectiveness.
The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System is used by your doctor to apply a heat and pressure therapy to adults that experience chronic cystic conditions of the eyelids including Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, also known as Evaporative Dry Eye.
The LipiFlow® System is a significant technological shift in evaporative dry eye treatment, effectively relieving blockage of the eyelid glands during an in-office treatment. Opening the blocked eyelid glands allows the body to resume the natural production of lipids (oils) needed for the tear film.
The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System is a clinically-proven procedure that can be performed right in your doctor’s office.
The LipiFlow® is a prescription device. Tell your doctor if you have a history of eye problems, eye infections, eye allergies, dry eyes, recent eye surgeries or injuries, or if you’re using any eye medications or have punctal plugs.
You’re not a candidate for the LipiFlow® treatment if you’ve had recent eye surgery, eye injury, herpes of the eye, or chronic eye inflammation.
Possible side effects include redness, burning, stinging, discharge, blurred vision, dryness, and sensitivity to light.
Federal law restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a licensed doctor.
Relief, starting in your doctor’s office.
In a clinical study, most patients (79%) who had the LipiFlow® treatment reported improvement of their dry eye symptoms within four weeks.
The average total Meibomian gland score for patients who received a single LipiFlow® treatment more than doubled from 6.3 ± 3.5 at the baseline to 16.7 ± 8.7 at 4 weeks. The increase in the average total meibomian score indicates an increase in the number of glands secreting and a higher quality of gland secretions as compared to before LipiFlow treatment.
Two different recognized symptom questionnaires were used in the study: the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) and the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). The average total SPEED score for patients who received a single LipiFlow® treatment decreased from 14.3 ± 4.8 at the baseline to 7.6 ± 5.8 at 4 weeks, demonstrating reduction in dry eye symptoms. Similarly, the average OSDI score decreased from 32.0 ± 20.0 at baseline to 16.6 ± 18.1 at 4 weeks.
The LipiFlow® treatment was easily tolerated. On a scale of 0 to 10, patients reported an average discomfort score of 1.4 ± 1.4 during LipiFlow treatment, which corresponds to a categorization of “awareness of pressure without pain”.
So you can get back to your real life.
This treatment may reduce the need for drops, compresses and other cumbersome, time-consuming efforts to temporarily ease symptoms.
Imagine: Just a short time after a successful treatment with the LipiFlow® system, you may go long periods of time without thinking about your eyes at all, just like most people do. You may no longer have to plan your day around your symptoms.
After a few weeks, you may even start to forget about how much the condition was controlling your life – the constant drops, the warm compresses, the limits on how long you could sit at the computer or wear your contacts. Months later, you may no longer worry about the faintest breeze. You can live your life again.