An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from dry eye and according to a 2012 study1, 86% of those with dry eye also have symptoms of Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). While the two are separate conditions, they typically go hand-in-hand and often overlap. The Meibomian glands are small glands that line the rim of the eyelid near the lashes that secrete an oily substance called meibum which is one of the critical components of tear film that helps prevent our tears from evaporating too quickly. Once there are decreased oils in the tear film it will likely have an effect on the ocular surface, leading to evaporate dry eye disease.
Common symptoms of MGD include:
- Blurred vision
- Excess tears
- Scratchy/gritty sensation
- Red, itchy eyes
- Tired, puffy eyes
Most dry eye treatments provide only short-term symptom relief but may not fully address the root cause of dryness, which in most cases is MGD. Previously MGD has been rather hard to treat, until now, with the introduction of a new, breakthrough, FDA-approved treatment called Lipiflow®. This simple, in-office procedure uses cutting-edge thermal pulsation (heated massage) to help clear blockages in the Meibomian glands in just 12 minutes! As a non-pharmaceutical, therapeutic approach, Lipiflow® helps clear gland blockages, improves gland function2 and production of the necessary oils in the protective lipid layer of the tear film.
Talley Eye Institute is proud to be the first practice in Evansville to offer Lipiflow®.
So what’s involved with the Lipiflow® procedure? Once your doctor has determined you may be a candidate, our team at Talley Eye Institute will evaluate your eyes and Meibomian glands via the Lipiscan® imaging device and a Meibomian gland evaluator (MGE) which will evaluate both the structure and function of your glands to provide a “gland score”. Your gland score will help the doctor determine the appearance, structure and function of your glands as well as whether or not there has been any gland loss or structural change. When MGD is present and not treated, glands can atrophy which can cause serious, long-term complications which is why early intervention is key.
If treatment is recommended, the patient is advanced to our Lipiflow® lounge where treatment is administered in a spa-like atmosphere. Sterile, single-use applicators safely and effectively deliver therapeutic massage to the outer lid and heat to the inner lids to remove gland blockages. The activators are designed to safely and effectively protect the delicate structures of the eyes. While the patient should expect to feel great immediately following treatment, maximum results are typically experienced between six and eight weeks following Lipiflow® treatment.
If you struggle with dry eyes, ask your doctor about Lipiflow®.
“It was noninvasive, and I was able to just relax—it reminded me of being at a spa," says Ashley McEvoy, Company Group Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Vision and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies, who underwent LipiFlow® herself.
1Lemp MA, Crews LA, Bron AJ, Foulks GN, Sullivan BD. Distribution of aqueous deficient and evaporative dry eye in a clinic based patient cohort: a retrospective study. Cornea. 2012; 31(5):472-478.
2Blackie CA, Carlson AN, Korb, DR. Treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye symptoms with a single-dose vectored thermal pulsation: a review. Current opinion in Ophthalmol. 2015; 26(4): 306-13.