What is LipiFlow®?
LipiFlow® is the only FDA approved device that uses thermal pulsation to treat both the inner and outer eyelid therapy to clear blockages caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). MGD is one of the most common causes of dry eye disease.
It is a 12 minute in office procedure, that clears the meibomian glands, and allows them to properly function to produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film. When a patient has MGD, they experience vision that fluctuates throughout the day, dry and burning eyes, eyes that water and an inflamed appearance to the eyelid margin.
In order to determine if LipiFlow® is right for you your eye doctor will assess the structure of your meibomian glands. When MGD is present and NOT treated this can lead to atrophy of the glands and unfortunately, once they are gone they will not come back. This can lead to life long dry eye symptoms and a constant need for artificial tears for relief.
How does LipiFlow® work?
✔️ The procedure centers around the breakthrough Vector Thermal Pulse Technology™(VTP)
✔️ After an initial anesthetic drop, no drugs are required for the procedure
✔️ The LipiFlow® system safely delivers therapeutic energies to the meibomian glands while protecting the delicate structures of the patient’s eye
✔️ As a result, the obstructed meibum is liquefied and pushed up and out of the gland orifices
✔️ Contoured design vaults the cornea and protects the eye
✔️ Heat and pressure are regulated with redundant sensors
Why is it important for my tears to have an oil layer?
The oil or lipid layer of the tears is important for providing a clear, smooth surface for optimum vision and helping the water (or aqueous layer) of the eye to stay longer to provide hydration. Without this layer the vision will fluctuate and the tears your eye does produce will not stay on the eye long enough to provide effective hydration.
Watch the video below for a great explanation and demonstration of the LipiFlow procedure
How do you image the meibomian glands?
Our Dry Eye Assessment includes non-invasive imaging of the meibomian glands. This lets us assess if the glands are functional and open or if they have become to atrophy. The images below show the difference between healthy and functioning meibomian glands vs glands that have begun to atrophy vs an eye that has lost meibomian glands to atrophy. Remember, once these glands are gone there is no procedure to bring them back.