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What LipiFlow Does for Your Dry Eyes

Dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction are common eye conditions. When you are suffering from dry eyes, you tend to exhibit the following symptoms:

•    Dry, gritty and irritated eyes.
•    Blurred vision.
•    Sensitivity to sunlight.
•    Symptoms worsen when you read, drive or use the computer for prolonged periods of time.

These symptoms are indicative of evaporative dry eye or a chronic condition that occurs when your tears evaporate faster than normal because you have insufficient lipid layer on the tear film of your eye. The condition worsens overtime and it is often due to the blockage in the meibomian gland or the oil-producing glands of the eyelids.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is an eye condition that occurs when the glands become blocked overtime. The secretion of the lipids from individual glands located in the upper and lower eyelids are limited due to the blockage. This condition is characterized by eyelid inflammation, swelling and redness.

Causes

MGD may be due to any of the following:

•    Age
•    Medical conditions like diabetes
•    Hormonal changes such as during menopause
•    Use of contact lens
•    Eye hygiene
•    Use of eye cosmetics.

Treatments

Dry eyes and MGD are usually interrelated. Most people would try to self-heal these conditions as their symptoms appear to be common. Some would resort to home remedies like applying warm compress on the affected eye, while some would use eye drops. Unfortunately, the relief provided by these remedies is temporary. The condition can recur.

LipiFlow

Fortunately, people with dry eyes and MGD no longer need to suffer. With the invention of the revolutionary LipiFlow technology, the symptoms and the leading cause of evaporative dry eye can now be treated. The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System treats this eye condition caused by MGD.

The treatment opens and clears blocked meibomian glands to allow the body to resume natural production of lipids needed by the tear film.

Procedure

•    A licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist will evaluate your condition to determine its likely cause. You may be asked to complete a lifestyle questionnaire to assess how your eyes feel on a daily basis.

•    If your symptoms are mild, a non-invasive test will be conducted with the use of the LipiView Ocular Surface Interferometer. This is similar to a comprehensive eye exam where images of your tear film will be captured. The equipment can process 14 million pixels per second. This takes less than five minutes and your doctor will use the result to assess your tear film.

•    Your doctor will most likely conduct a meibomian gland evaluation to check if your glands are blocked or obstructed.

•    If you are found eligible for the procedure, the LipiFlow treatment will proceed. Controlled heat will be applied to your inner eyelid. Mild intermittent pressure will also be applied to release lipids from your blocked meibomian glands. The upper and lower eyelids are treated simultaneously. There is absolutely no damage to the glands or the eyes. The procedure is done in your doctor’s clinic.

79% of patients reported 10% to 100% improvement in their over-all symptoms within four weeks from treatment. With this highly-reliable and painless procedure, you can say goodbye to your dry eyes and MGD.

Finally most dry eye patients can now be treated.  The first LipiFlow system will be installed in Australia by The Eye Practice (Sydney CBD) (http://www NULL.theeyepractice NULL.com NULL.au) this month.

Enquiries and appointments have been made from around the country and as far away as New Zealand.  Call The Eye Practice now on (02) 9290 1899 or ask a question by clicking on the QUICK ENQUIRY Tab at the top right of this website.

About the Author

Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He is currently a Senior Lecturer there and regular speaker to both Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Australia and Internationally. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings.

Comments (22)

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  1. David Rann says:

    Hi

    Please send more info on LipiFlow and treatment costs

    Thanks

    David

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      Hi David
      I will have our practice manager send you an information pack, which will include all details including all costs involved.
      Regards
      Jim

  2. Tania Earle says:

    Hi David,

    Just wondering if you could send me some information and pricing on Lipiflow please.

    PO Box 1300 Hervey Bay Q 4655

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      Hi Tania
      Thanks for the enquiry. We have been using LipiFlow for a couple of months now. It is not the panacea for all types of dry eyes but for those that are suitable can really make a difference to their lifestyle.

      We will send you information via email if that is OK?
      Regards
      Jim

  3. Elizabeth Hepburn says:

    Please can you send me information and pricing on Lipiflow. My 24 year old daughter has severe problems with dry eyes. A very brief and very low dose of Isotane caused this nearly 2 years ago. This week she used a decongestant just once, and since then she is struggling to keep her eyes open by afternoon. It’s hard for her to read or drive, and she is afraid she is not going to be able to hold down a job. 18 months ago she was told that the oil glands in her eyes are not working properly. Do you think LipiFlow could help her?

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      I am sorry to hear about the problems your daughter is having with dry eyes after Isotane. The LipiFlow cost around $2000 for one treatment, which on its own is accepted by most patients that are really struggling with dry eye. From my perspective I sent the instrument back after a three month trial because in my practice I could not make it financially viable. I can refer her to the university of NSW that has a LipiFlow unit now but before that happens she will require a comprehensive assessment and pre treatment to make sure the LipiFlow is appropriate, it can maximise her chances of a successful outcome. Where do you live?
      Regards
      Jim Kokkinakis

  4. Deb Vickers says:

    I’m sorry to hear that the machine was not financially viable for you, but if you could send me any further information or advice on where I might seek help in the ACT for my dry eyes, I would be very grateful.

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      Deb we now have the LipiFlow back again. With a new protocol it seems that this innovative instrument can now be viable. Combined with this we have also introduced another procedure called IPL for meibomian gland dysfunction. Between these procedures we now have the most advanced dry eye clinic in Australasia at The Eye Practice.

  5. Susan says:

    Hello Jim,
    I’m interested in the LipiFlow treatment for dry eye.
    Could you please send me some information on the procedure.

    • admin says:

      Hi Susan
      LipiFlow treatment for the majority of dry eye suffers is the best option, but only after a comprehensive evaluation to determine that:
      1. You definitely have meibomian gland dysfunction
      2. That there are not any other contributing factors that could minimise the effect of LipiFlow.

      Please understand that this is at least $2000 exercise. If this is out of your budget it is best to have a comprehensive assessment first and see whether whether you are even suitable. Please understand that if you are at the stage of researching LipiFlow I assume your symptoms are serious. Dry Eyes at this stage progressively get worse without appropriate advice and treatment. Are you near Sydney?

  6. samarla says:

    Hi,
    I have been suffering extremely bad blepheritis for nearly 6 years now and so far no one has been able to help me. Every day is a constant battle. Can you please send me more information on the lipiflow procedures.
    Samarla

    • admin says:

      Hi Samarla – sorry for the late reply.
      It is imperative to be seen as soon as possible for blepharitis treatment, but LipiFlow is usually not appropriate for significant blepharitis to begin with. I have had a lot of success with a procedure called Blephex and IPL. Once the blephritis is brought under control often LipiFlow is not required, although occasionally it appropriate. There is no one formula for patients with irritated eyes from blephritis. everyone is unique and needs a customised approach.
      Regards
      Jim Kokkinakis

      • alex says:

        Hi, could I get some more info about blephex?

        Alex.

        • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

          Where are you from Alex?

          How BlephEx® Works

          , blepharitis procedure, blepharitis cureBlephEx® is a painless in-office procedure performed by your eyecare professional. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx® handpiece is used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.

          The patented micro-sponge is disposable and for optimal cleaning and exfoliating, a fresh clean one is used for each individual eyelid. The eyes are rinsed well afterwards.

          The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.

          After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.

          Please note I have copied this from the Blephex website. It is a great professional procedure that can make a huge difference in the presence of blepharitis.

  7. Abel Berhane says:

    Hi jim, my name is abel. I need to ask you if the practice work for bells palsy patients? It happens for me from 1997 and I’m struggling to close my eyes and because of that my eyes are dry.

    • admin says:

      Hi Abel
      Your condition called lagophthalmos is very frustrating. depending on the functionality of your meibomian glands you might be a candidate for the LipiFlow procedure. What is also just as important is the use of ointments and taping your lid down during sleep, which i assume you are already doing?

  8. Michele Watson says:

    Hi Jim can you recommend anyone in Perth? I have a tearing left eye and some blepharitis. I am just useing Systane eyelid cleaners at the moment but the tearing is a nuisance. I am seeing Dr Cunnen next week – an opthalmologist but wondered if you can advise me – perhaps I can ask him about blephex.

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist NULL.com NULL.au) says:

      i am sorry Michele I am not familiar with any practitioner in perth that has the Blephex procedure

  9. Paula Dawson says:

    Do you know if any nz practitioners use the Blephex procedure

  10. Bob Atkinson says:

    Hi Jim,Can you give me a contact in Perth West Aust for the Lipi Flow treatment for Dry Eyes.I worked in very dusty conditions on mine sites etc and i match up to all the symptons you mention.
    A possible contact in perth would be appreciated

    Regards
    Bob

    • admin says:

      Sorry Bob, there is no one in Perth with LipiFlow. We have many patients that travel from Perth for this treatment. You can find out more about LipiFlow and dry eyes treatment (http://www NULL.theeyepractice NULL.com NULL.au/optometry-services/dry-eye-treatment) on our main web site.

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