It’s time to change your outlook on dry eye.
There are roughly 30 million people in the United States and over 300 million worldwide who have been diagnosed with dry eye. The term “dry eye” is used to describe a myriad of ocular symptoms, including itching, redness, tearing, burning, gritty feeling, eye fatigue, and blurred vision. These occur because of a lack of moisture on the corneal surface. The two main causes of dry eye are a lack of tear production, caused by inflammation or scarring of the lacrimal glands, and tear evaporation, caused by an abnormal lipid (oily) layer which keeps the tears in your eyes from evaporating too quickly.
A lack of tear production, or aqueous insufficiency, is more common in women over 40, people with certain autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, and those taking certain medications such as antihistamines or anti-anxiety medications. This type of dry eye may respond to over the counter lubricant drops (artificial tears), lubricant gels, punctal plugs, cyclosporine drops (Restasis), and in some cases, short term topical steroids.
Many dry eye patients have learned to live with eye discomfort and have become dependent on drops or other treatment methods that only offer temporary relief. This has been due to a lack of understanding that the root cause of most dry eye (86%) is now known to be a chronic and progressive condition, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD.
MGD occurs when there is a compromise to the function and/or structure of the meibomian glands in the eyelids that produce the protective oily layer of the tear film. These glands can become blocked over time and can no longer produce oils needed for healthy tears. This blockage results in rapid evaporation of your tears and can lead to irritation, discomfort and if not treated, gland dropout.
A series of evaluations will be performed to determine if you have MGD. This can include a LipiView® tear film and gland imaging and a meibomian gland evaluation. Knowing what is causing your Dry Eye will help your doctor determine the best treatment option.
Treating MGD with LipiFlow®
While there are multiple choices available for treating MGD, LipiFlow® is the only FDA-cleared device for removing gland blockages and restoring gland function. Through advances in the application of Vectored Thermal Pulsation (VTPTM) technology, the LipiFlow treatment utilizes a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage to remove the obstructions in the meibomian glands.
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