Millions of people are affected by chronically dry eyes. For decades, the term “dry eye” has been used to describe a variety of problems to cause symptoms such as blurry vision, burning, a foreign body sensation or sandpaper feel, excessive tearing, and redness. Furthermore, most treatments have revolved around the idea that dry eyes stem from a lack of tear production. Current research demonstrates that, in a high percentage of diagnoses, this is not the case at all.
In over 86 percent of dry eye diagnoses, Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) is the identified cause. This chronic eye condition occurs when insufficient oil production, not tear production, occurs in the meibomian glands in the eyes. Like the fluid in tears, oil is crucial to the longevity of the tear film on the surface of the eye. Without enough oil, tears evaporate at an accelerated rate. Because most treatments for dry eyes focus on restoring tear production, many people have been unable to regain the comfort they seek with traditional therapies.
At Roholt Vision Institute, patients from the Canfield, Alliance, and N. Canton areas may finally find their answer with the innovative LipiFlow®Thermal Pulsation System. To date, no other therapy has been developed to address MGD. What the LipiFlow® treatment does is open blocked meibomian glands so that they may resume optimal production of the oil that coats the surface of the eye, protecting the tear film.
How it Works
In order to determine if this short, 12-minute treatment is right for you, we will perform a thorough consultation and examination of your eyes. In some cases, special instrumentation will be used to visualize and measure the oil content in your tear film. The quality and frequency of blinking will also be evaluated. If the LipiFlow® treatment is well-suited to your situation, we will conduct the following procedure:
- You can sit or lie comfortably in the treatment room.
- Anesthetic drops will be placed into the eyes. Both can be treated in the same visit.
- A small disposable tip with warmer will be placed beneath the lid. A protective shield blocks heat from the eyeball.
- Minor warming and pressure will be felt as lids are closed around the tip.
- Pressure sensations will vary from light to moderate during the 12-minute treatment.
Many patients report that LipiFlow® treatment feels like a nice eyelid massage. Following treatment, it is possible to get right back into your normal activities with no discomfort. Because MGD is a chronic condition, LipiFlow® treatment will need to be repeated periodically.
Learn more about treatments for dry eyes at Roholt Vision Institute.