LipiFlow Dry Eye Treatment
What Is LipiFlow?
Best-In-Class Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, Specifically Designed to Remove Blockages from Meibomian Glands and Relieve Dry Eye
For patients with mild, moderate, or severe dry eyes who are without relief.
The LipiFlow treatment represents an effective, safe, and drug-free approach to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
MGD causes blockages in the meibomian glands which prevents them from secreting healthy oil, which protects aqueous layer from evaporation.
LipiFlow works by implementing the precise application of heat and massage to both the outer and inner eyelids. This application has proved to be an extremely effective process for clearing blockages found in the Meibomian glands. Best of all, the LipiFlow treatment can be performed during a single office visit in as little as 12 minutes.
What Is Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)?
There are three layers that make up a person’s tear film to keep eyes from drying out. The layers are made up of water, mucus, and oils. Each eye has 25-40 Meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20-30 in the lower. These glands secrete oils or Meibum onto the surface of the eye. The oil in the Meibum helps prevent the water layer from evaporating too quickly from the surface of the eye.
Changes to the amount or quality of Meibum or to the glands themselves can lead to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. The most common type of dysfunction is when the gland openings get clogged. If the gland openings get clogged, not enough oil can reach the surface of the eye.
Though MGD is a common problem with the eyes, many people don’t realize they have it. One of the safest and most successful treatments for MGD is the LipiFlow treatment.
The LipiFlow Treatment
1. First, your eye doctor will use the LipiScan imaging device to examine your Meibomian glands. This will help your doctor make a diagnosis, which may involve additional testing.
2. If it's determined that you do have MGD, you can proceed with receiving the 12-minute LipiFlow treatment. Before it begins, your doctor will use numbing drops (the same ones routinely used at yearly eye exams) to help ease any potential discomfort from the procedure.
3. Next, the system’s activators—dome-shaped, single-use sterile devices—are placed on your eyes. Their vaulted shape keeps your corneas protected during the treatment, which focuses on the inner eyelids, where the Meibomian glands are located.
4. Using what’s called Vector Thermal Pulsation technology, the activators send heat into the glands inside your lids. This combination of heat plus pressure massages any blockages and liquefies and clears the obstructions that are causing your symptoms.
Studies show that while some patients experience some pain or discomfort from the procedure, the majority find it very tolerable.
Although many patients will see a change in symptoms right away, results generally optimize over six to eight weeks.
LipiFlow Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q. What is Dry eye?
A. Dry eye is a medical condition with health and lifestyle consequences if left untreated. There are two primary forms of Dry Eye – Evaporative (which is associated with deficiency in the oily layer of your tears) and Aqueous Deficient
(which is associated with deficiency in the watery layer of tears). LipiFlow® addresses Evaporative Dry Eye, which is the most common cause of dry eye symptoms. As part of our Dry Eye Evaluation, the doctor will use several tests to
assess and identify the root cause of your Dry Eye symptoms and recommend the best treatment for you.
2. Q. What are meibomian glands?
A. Meibomian glands are the oil producing glands of your eye lids. If these glands
do not produce enough oil or become blocked, it may contribute to your symptoms
of dry eye.
3. Q. What is LipiScan®?
A. LipiScan® is the first dedicated high-definition gland imager that allows eye care professionals to assess meibomian gland structure during routine workups in a practice setting. With dynamic surface illumination and adaptive transillumination technologies, the device creates a fast and intuitive image of your glands. LipiScan generates a multidimensional view that is clear and easy for your doctor to analyze and prescribe the most appropriate treatment possible to alleviate your painful dry eye symptoms.
4. Q. What is LipiFlow®?
A. LipiFlow® is a cutting edge treatment for Evaporative Dry Eye. LipiFlow® is a thermal eyelid massage that applies
consistent, comfortable heat to your eyelids. It also provides gentle, pulsating pressure to your eyelids to massage out
the liquefied blockages of your meibomian glands. Your eye doctor can provide you more information if this is an
appropriate treatment option for your dry eye symptoms.
5. Q. What happens during the LipiFlow® procedure?
A. The LipiFlow® Activator (disposable) is inserted under your lower and upper eye lid. It is shaped to prevent contact
with the cornea, or front surface of your eye. Once in place, you simply recline in the treatment chair for the procedure.
6. Q. How long is the LipiFlow® procedure?
A. The LipiFlow® procedure lasts 12 minutes.
7. Q. Does LipiFlow® work?
A. In a clinical study, 79% of patients reported improved overall dry eye symptoms (ranging from 10% to 100%
improvement) within four weeks of a single LipiFlow® treatment. Results may vary depending on factors that your
doctor will discuss with you during your Dry Eye Evaluation before pursuing treatment.
8. Q. Is LipiFlow® FDA approved?
A. Yes, LipiFlow® is FDA approved.
9. Q. What are the risks of the LipiFlow® procedure?
A. Your doctor will explain to you the risks and benefits of the LipiFlow® procedure during your Dry Eye Evaluation and
10. Q. How long do the benefits of the LipiFlow® treatment last?
A. The results of the LipiFlow® treatment vary person to person. It may take several weeks to feel the full effect of
symptom relief. Your doctor will discuss with you what benefit the LipiFlow® treatment may have for your Dry Eye
symptoms after a thorough Dry Eye Evaluation.
11. Q. Is LipiFlow® the only treatment option for my Dry Eye?
A. There are many treatment options that your doctor will discuss with you. LipiFlow® is just one of the options. After the
Dry Eye Evaluation, your doctor will recommend to you the treatment options that he or she feels will best help to
relieve your Dry Eye symptoms.
12. Q. Do I qualify for LipiFlow®?
A. The doctor will determine if you are qualified for LipiFlow® after a thorough evaluation of your eyes. The doctor will then discuss with you whether LipiFlow® would be beneficial for relieving your Dry Eye symptoms.
13. Q. How do I schedule a visit to get LipiFlow®?
A. The doctor must do a thorough evaluation of your eyes to determine the cause of your dry eye symptoms in order to
determine if you are a candidate for LipiFlow®. This Dry Eye Evaluation visit will be through the Dry Eye Clinic.
14. Q. Will my insurance cover LipiFlow®?
A. At this time, the LipiFlow® procedure is not covered by most insurance plans.
15. Q. Will my insurance cover the Dry Eye Evaluation?
A. We can attempt to bill your medical insurance for the cost of the Dry Eye Evaluation. However, it is not guaranteed that
it will be covered by your insurance.
16. Q. How many follow up visits do I need?
A. The number of follow up visits you will need depends on your eye’s response to treatment and your overall satisfaction.
17. Q. How much does LipiView®, LipiFlow®, and a Dry Eye Evaluation cost?
A. Please call our office at 910-484-2284 for pricing details.