An Introduction to LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Treatment:
- LipiFlow is a Thermal Pulsation System that improves the function of meibomian glands
- Treatment is safe and totally drug-free
- The procedure uses a console and a single-use sterile Activator tool
- Gentle massage and heat are applied to enhance the quality of meibomian gland secretions
- Improves eye comfort and eliminates dry eye disease symptoms
- Does not require additional medication or ongoing artificial tear use
- You can return to regular activity following treatment
What Conditions Does LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Address?
- Lipiflow is used to treat dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This condition occurs when the tiny Meibomian glands found in the eyelids are blocked. When the glands are blocked, they cannot produce the component of tears that protect the tear film that covers the outer surface of the eye.
Why Is LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Recommended?
You have about 25 to 40 meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20 to 30 in the lower eyelid. They secrete vital oils onto the surface of the eye that keeps tears from evaporating quickly. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) stops the glands from functioning correctly, which means they cannot secrete enough oil into the tears. When the tear film evaporates too quickly, it leads to dry eye disease and can also cause blepharitis.
Blepharitis is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria living on the edge of the eyelids and the base of the eyelashes. When allowed to multiply, they create a biofilm which creates a highly toxic environment. This can lead to mites as well as the production of exotoxins that aggravate your glands worsening dry eye discomfort.
How Do You Know if LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Is Right for You?
If you are suffering from symptoms of dry eye disease, a diagnosis can be made for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Technology allows for a non-invasive quick way to examine eyes for MGD using LipiScan. This tool allows doctors to easily view the health of your meibomian glands in high definition and make a quick diagnosis of dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.
The tool uses dynamic surface illumination and adaptive transillumination technologies, providing your doctor with a multidimensional image of your glands ideal for analysis. This allows your doctor to identify the cause of dry eye disease quickly, painlessly and accurately.
How is LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Applied?
The procedure uses Vector Thermal Pulse Technology™ (VTP) to eliminate dry eye disease issues caused by MGD. The 12-minute process includes the following steps:
- Numbing drops are used to ensure complete comfort during the procedure
- Dome-shaped, single-use sterile activators are placed on your eyes
- The activators send gentle, monitored heat into the glands inside your lids
- A gentle pressure massage is also applied
- Any blockages causing your symptoms are liquefied and cleared away
The procedure is painless and does not require any medication. You are able to resume normal activities, including driving, directly following your treatment.
LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System Details
The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System consists of a Console and Activator. The Activator uses a single-use sterile device with a drug-free mechanism for treatment. The system is used safely in-office and only takes about 12 minutes to complete the treatment.
The system uses Vectored Thermal Pulse Technology to apply heat and peristaltic motion to the eyelid. This removes any gland obstructions and gland content that is trapped in the glands. There are three components to the system:
- Vectored: The cornea is protected by a vaulted design. Multi-point sensors monitor and regulate heat and pressure to keep the treatment safe and minimize discomfort. The system uses a nominal therapeutic temperature of 42.5 degrees Celsius. This allows the system to reach the glands safely and protect the eyelid and delicate structures of the globe.
- Thermal: Precise temperature regulation ensures safe, consistent heat application to the meibomian glands while protecting the cornea with the insulated Activator.
- Pulse: A monitored, pulsed sequence expels blockages and stagnant material from the gland while protecting the eye from unnecessary intraocular pressure.
Treatment is minimally invasive, comfortable and quick.
What Are the Benefits of LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation Treatment?
There are many benefits to LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation treatment, including:
- Little to no downtime following treatment
- Reduced or no dependence on daily eye drops
- Long-lasting relief from symptoms
- Healthy eye function allowing you to produce necessary natural oils
As you can see, LipiFlow® treatment is well worth it if you are suffering from dry eye disease.
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Treating dry eyes is crucial for relieving discomfort, improving vision quality, and preventing complications. Untreated dry eyes can lead to damage on the ocular surface and compromise eye health. Seeking timely treatment not only enhances comfort with activities like reading or using digital devices but also ensures a personalized approach to address the underlying causes of dry eyes, promoting overall well-being. If you experience persistent symptoms, consulting with our eye care professional is advisable for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.
Artificial tears play a key role in managing dry eyes by providing lubrication and moisture to the eyes. They help alleviate symptoms such as dryness, itching, and irritation. The frequency of artificial tear use varies based on individual needs and the severity of dry eye symptoms. Typically, they can be used as often as needed throughout the day, and the specific recommendation should be discussed with our eye care professional who can provide personalized guidance based on the individual's condition and response to treatment.
Consistent eye care habits and regular eye exams are integral in preventing and managing dry eyes. Regular examinations facilitate early detection of dry eye symptoms, allowing for prompt intervention and personalized treatment plans. Monitoring progress, implementing preventive measures, and receiving customized advice from eye care professionals contribute to effective management and overall eye health. Prioritizing regular eye check-ups empowers individuals to take proactive steps and ensures comprehensive care for optimal well-being.
Several lifestyle and environmental factors contribute to dry eyes, including prolonged screen time, air conditioning, wind exposure, contact lens use, certain medications, poor eyelid hygiene, smoking, dehydration, and allergies. Managing these factors involves taking regular breaks during screen use, using humidifiers, wearing protective eyewear outdoors, maintaining good eyelid hygiene, staying hydrated, and addressing allergies.
Common symptoms of dry eyes include sensations of itching, burning, or stinging, as well as redness, blurred vision, and a feeling of grittiness in the eyes. If you experience persistent discomfort, increased sensitivity to light, or find that over-the-counter artificial tears provide only temporary relief, it is advisable to seek professional treatment for dry eyes. Additionally, individuals who notice changes in their vision, have difficulty wearing contact lenses due to discomfort or have underlying health conditions that may contribute to dry eyes should promptly consult with our eye care professional for a thorough assessment and appropriate treatment. Early intervention can help manage symptoms and prevent potential complications associated with untreated dry eyes.
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