Dry eye disease is a common condition affecting more than 16 million Americans. Most of the patients who are treated for dry eyes are women, according to statistics. In most situations, tests find that it is not a lack of aqueous fluid that causes the eyes to be perpetually dry and irritated, it is a lack of oil production to support a healthy tear film. The tear film contains oil, mucus, and water. Oil is produced in the meibomian glands and then mixes with the other substances as the tear film spreads across the ocular surface when blinking. If the glands are clogged, oil production slows to a point at which symptoms occur. Dry eye doesn’t have to be a persistent problem. In our Amarillo office, we can unblock meibomian glands with LipiFlow®.
The majority of the remedies for dry eye disease are just that, remedies. Lubricating eye drops can soothe irritation and temporarily override the lack of oil in the tear film, but this and other remedies do not unblock the glands, and this is what is needed for long-term relief. LipiFlow gets right to the source of the problem. The brief treatment releases the debris that contributes to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and thus restores optimal oil production. After LipiFlow, the need for eye drops and other therapies should be eliminated.
Recovery and Results
The results of LipiFlow may be felt immediately after treatment. Patients do not need any downtime to recover. They may drive themselves home or back to work after their appointment, and may even resume wearing contact lenses soon after the procedure. That said, the full effects of treatment build over time. Optimal results are usually noticed six to eight weeks after the treatment is performed. It is a bit more difficult to predict how long the results of LipiFLow will last for every patient because several factors can contribute to recurrence. Examples include how much screen time a patient engages in on a regular basis, contact lens use, and cholesterol levels. In most cases, patients enjoy results for one year or longer.
Fast and FDA-Approved
The LipiFlow procedure is performed in the office in about an hour. After reviewing the procedure with the patient, the doctor applies numbing eye drops. LipiFlow is performed using small, comfortable applicators that deliver gentle massage with pulses of controlled heat. The combination clears the blockages in the meibomian glands with just 12 minutes per eye. The process may feel strange, but it is usually not described as painful.
Dry eye disease may be misunderstood as a chronic condition. While symptoms can persist when you rely only on remedies like eye drops and warm compresses, they can be eliminated for a longer period with occasional LipiFlow treatments. To schedule yours, contact our Amarillo office at (806) 351-1177.