Who is a good candidate for LipiFlow treatment?
You’re a good candidate for LipiFlow if the basis of your dry eye is the quality of your tears. When the Meibomian glands are blocked, necessary lipids are not released, so your tears don’t have the necessary oils to effectively regulate evaporation. This is the cause of dry eye in 86 percent of those with the condition. To assess your candidacy for LipiFlow, Dr. Murrell will evaluate your tears’ lipid layer and identify gland blockage.
Certain patients with various eye conditions cannot have LipiFlow. These are patients who have had ocular surgery or injury within the past 3 months. Those with active ocular infection or ocular herpes within the last 3 months. Also, abnormalities with the eyelid, such as entropion, ectropion, severe ptosis, and others, can preclude a patient from being eligible for LipiFlow.
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What are the benefits of LipiFlow treatment for dry eye?
LipiFlow is a painless treatment that provides immediate relief to most patients. By clearing the blocked or impeded Meibomian glands, normal tear production is returned. By targeting the clogged glands, LipiFlow actually treats the cause of dry eye, rather than simply calming the symptoms.
How many LipiFlow treatments will I need?
Dr. Murrell has found that a single LipiFlow treatment works for most patients. The procedure is painless, and he treats both eyes at once. The entire LipiFlow treatment takes around 20 minutes.
While LipiFlow doesn’t need a series of treatments, in most patients with Meibomian gland dysfunction their dry eye can be chronic. For that reason, Dr. Murrell often recommends a yearly LipiFlow treatment to keep the glands open and functioning.
What are the risks with LipiFlow treatment? Is this a safe treatment?
This is a very safe, very low-risk procedure. It has been cleared by the FDA; to gain that approval the safety and effectiveness of this treatment had to be thoroughly studied and proven. LipiFlow simply delivers controlled heat and pulsating gentle massage movement to the eyelids. This is completely non-invasive and safe.
Does LipiFlow Require Anesthesia?
The LipiFlow treatment can feel awkward because the applicators fit over the eyelids. However, this is not described as painful in the least. LipiFlow truly is a warming massage for your eyelids! That said, the doctor may apply a topical numbing medication to your eyes in the form of eye drops. This temporary medication can prevent the odd sensations that are associated with treatment.
What is LipiFlow?
LipiFlow is a proven, FDA-cleared device that is used to address the frustrating symptoms of dry eye disease. The treatment process involves a thorough examination of the eyelids and meibomian glands in the eyelids using LipiScan technology. This pre-treatment screening provides a high-definition photograph of the eyes that identifies blockages to an optimally healthy tear film.
How Does a LipiFlow Treatment Work?
The LipiFlow device applies gentle heat and massage to the eyelids. This stimulation loosens and expels the debris that is blocking your meibomian glands. Treatment is administered via individual applicators that slip onto your eyelids. Both eyes can be treated simultaneously, minimizing the treatment time to under 15 minutes.
How should I Prepare for a LipiFlow Treatment?
Before you undergo LipiFlow treatment, your doctor may advise you to avoid the use of antihistamine medication during the week before your appointment. A few days before treatment, you may need to stop wearing contact lenses and using eye drops, ointments, and other remedies you've been using to alleviate your symptoms.
Are LipiFlow Treatments Covered by Insurance?
Currently, LipiFlow treatment is not covered by insurance or Medicare. However, your exam that takes place before your treatment may qualify for insurance coverage. This can bring down the overall cost of remedying dry eye symptoms.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye is commonly referred to as Dry Eye Disease, which can somewhat complicate your understanding of your personal risks for this condition. The most common risk factors associated with chronic dry eyes include the following:
- Prolonged screentime without adequate breaks
- Prolonged exposure to hearing and air conditioning
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, MGD, is a relatively common reason for dry eye symptoms. This condition involves the insufficient production of oil from the meibomian glands in the eyes. These small glands, located in the eyelids, secrete the oil (meibum) layer of your tear film. The oil in tears prevents the water aspect of this film from evaporating too quickly. Where there is little oil, evaporation speeds up and the eyes are continually dry.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
The symptoms of dry eye are pretty easy to spot. They include
- Redness that may get worse throughout the day
- A gritty, sandy sensation
- Stinging or burning of the eyes
- Excessive watering
- General eye irritation or blurry vision
Is there recovery after LipiFlow treatment?
There isn’t any recovery required after LipiFlow treatment. You can get right back to your normal activities.
Are the results that LipiFlow delivers permanent?
For most patients with Meibomian gland dysfunction, LipiFlow works very effectively to open the blocked glands. They may remain clear permanently, but they may also become blocked again because dry eye from Meibomian gland dysfunction tends to be chronic. LipiFlow has been shown to provide results for up to two years.
How is LipiFlow different than other dry eye treatments?
Many treatments for dry eye symptoms only provide short-term, fleeting relief. Eyedrops simply add fluid to the eyes temporarily. Warm compresses applied to the front of the eyelids also provide temporary relief because they don’t completely clear blocked Meibomian glands. Treatments, such as fish oil, can reduce irritation from other issues, but again they don’t clear the blocked glands. LipiFlow targets the cause of dry eye for most people — blocked Meibomian glands. That’s why it is more effective than other treatments.