Lipiflow is an advanced, clinically proven treatment for dry eyes. People with Dry Eye Disease are often frustrated by sandy and gritty eyes that look red. They also experience fluctuating vision that can clear up momentarily if they blink “just right’. Dry Eye is a major cause of eye discomfort and contact lens wear troubles.
We do not have a cure for Dry Eye Disease, but we can manage and limit the symptoms. Lipiflow is considered the clinical gold standard to treat one of the root causes of Dry Eye Disease known as Meibomian Gland Disease. Lipiflow resets and refreshes your Meibomian Glands so that they secrete a better-quality oil. This oil is a critical part of your tears because it prevents the watery part of the tear from evaporating too quickly.
We have been performing Lipiflow procedures since 2018 and have seen many people helped by the procedure. We often hear patients compare Lipiflow to a spa treatment or massage.
Everything happens while you are seated in the regular eye examination chair. First, we check the status of your eyelid margins and always use an anesthetic (numbing) drop in each eye. We often consider a gentle cleaning (debridement) of the eyelid margins before the procedure. Then we recline the exam chair and place the treatment activators on each eye. The activators are like a “large contact lens” that does touch your eye. However, it is quite tolerable because of the anesthetic drop. We then start a 12-minute treatment on both eyes at the same time. You keep your eyelids closed during the procedure. The Lipiflow Treatment is a combination of eyelid warming and moderate pulsating massage to the eyelids. The warmth is 10 degrees more than normal body temperature and the massage is similar in feeling to many repeated strong blinks. You will have someone next to you the whole time. When you are done with the 12 minutes, that is it! There are no special restrictions or considerations at the conclusion of the treatment.
The goal of the Lipiflow treatment is to improve your meibomian gland function. Once the glands improve, we expect dry eye symptoms to decrease. Most people notice in improvement in symptoms about 4-8 weeks after the procedure. We check Lipiflow patients 6-8 weeks after the procedure to document gland function. At that appointment, we discuss the need for other types of Dry Eye treatments, if needed. The effect of Lipiflow is generally thought to peak at 6-9 months after the procedure. It is common for the effect to last 12-24 months, but individual results may vary.