The Science Behind LipiFlow®
Over 25 years of scientific research has shown that the leading cause of Dry Eye is a condition known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). The gland blockages from MGD can be cleared most effectively by gently heating and massaging the inner and outer lid. This is known as thermal pulsation treatment. LipiFlow® is the only FDA cleared device that provides both inner and outer lid therapy and is specifically designed for removing blockages from the Meibomian glands allowing them to function properly and produce the oils that protect your eyes.
Supported by 37 patents and used around the world, LipiFlow® is fast becoming the standard of care for MGD with studies demonstrating its safe and effective results. LipiFlow® was designed to minimize patient discomfort and most patients describe it as a gently massaging of the eye lids.
The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System effectively removes blockages of the meibomian gland utilizing a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage. Removal of the gland blockages is essential to improve gland function and reduce the progression of MGD.
The LipiFlow treatment is performed on both eyes, over a 12-minute session. Heat and massage will work together to melt the hardened meibum and evacuate the glands with pulsating massage.
No, a numbing drop will be applied to your eyes prior to the start of the treatment. The treatment requires insertion of a disposable scleral cup which protects the actual eye from direct heat or pulsation. The cornea is therefore protected for the duration of the 12-minute treatment. Patients have stated that treatment feels like a comfortable, warm massage to the eyelids.
You may experience some mild redness following the treatment. Because the treatment is evacuating the glands of oil and resetting them to begin normal oil production again, you should expect to experience a period of temporary dryness while the glands work to produce healthy oils again.
Yes, you may return to your daily activities immediately following the treatment. You will not need a driver to accompany you.
Most patients feel relief within 2-4 weeks. Approximately 80% of patients reported an improvement in symptoms by this time, but your outcomes will depend on the degree of severity of your MGD progression. This is an interventional treatment with the purpose being preservation of the glands you have left and preventing further gland loss.
Nearly 90% of patients in a 12-month post – LipiFlow duration study reported a 50% reduction in symptoms and a 3 fold increase in gland function, 1 year after receiving treatment. Over time, after treatment, the meibomian glands may become blocked again because of continued evaporative stress, which is caused by infrequent blinking from modern lifestyles and leads to thickening of the gland secretions and blockage of oil production. Again, depending on your degree of compromised gland structure, additional treatments may be necessary.