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LipFlow Treatment For Dry Eyes 020 7183 3725 Book a Consultation

What is LipiFlow?

Many people experience dry eyes, which often worsen due to tearing and itching caused by seasonal allergies. Most people who experience dry eyes do not know it results from Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) as a common cause.

This condition occurs when small glands in the eyelid’s called Meibomian glands are blocked and unable to protect the thin layer of fluid (tear film) covering the outer eye surface. In the past years, no viable treatment was available for MGD, but new technology has been developed to treat this condition very effectively. 

LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is a new device that heats up and removes the blockage in the Meibomian gland within 12 minutes. You can undergo this procedure in your eye doctor’s office quickly and simply. 

Future Looks Bright

Historically, ophthalmologists and optometrists have had to try and clear blockages in the Meibomian glands by physically squeezing the eyelid - a sometimes painful and not-always-effective remedy.

But the LipiFlow system has helped change that.

An research published in the journal Clinical Ophthalmology supports its effectiveness: The study showed that treatment with the device increased the average amount of time that contact lens wearers with MGD could comfortably wear their lenses by approximately four hours.

How does it works?

The procedure is done in just four simple steps:

  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 mild discomfort or pain from the procedure, the majority find it very tolerable.

What is MGD?

MGD is a common eye condition affecting millions of people. Many people with dry eyes also show MGD symptoms. A common cause of MGD is poor blinking. Every time you blink, it activates the muscles in the Meibomian glands to squeeze each gland. This causes the functional glands to secrete a droplet into the tear film.  

The secreted droplets enter the tear film, creating the overlying sheet of lipid or outer layer. Suppose you do not blink often or your blinking is incomplete. Over time your this lipid layer will remain stagnant, leaving a thicker and harder oil inconsistency. The thick oil can potentially blocks the Meibomian glands, leading to symptoms consistent with dry eye, including itching and burning. 

Over time, if the Meibomian gland remains blocked with the thick oil, it will die off, worsening the symptoms. The tear film also consists of other layers made of mucus and water. The weakness in each of these layers can also aggravate your eyes giving you symptoms, which could include burning and itchy sensations, red, swollen or dry eyes causing a lot of discomfort. 

Who can have MGD?

Anyone can develop MGD, but some people are more likely to develop it than others. For example, people who wear contact lenses are at a higher risk and those that use electronic devices more frequently like mobile phones, tablets and personal computers. 

In both situations, these people have a lower blink rate than those who don’t wear contact lenses or overuse electronic devices. Especially while working with a computer, a person’s blink rate will be reduced by half the usual amount a person blinks. 

Post menopausal people and those with immune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis also have a higher risk of developing MGD. 

Taking medications like antihistamines and beta-blockers may increase the risk of MGD. Certain weather conditions such as windy and dry weather can usually trigger MGD symptoms. 

If you experience dry eyes or have MGD, which can also triggers dry eye symptoms, and you need treatment to relieve the condition, visit Optimal Vision. We carry out dry eye treatment using the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System to relieve your dry eye symptoms. You can call us on 020 7183 3725 to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.

*Price is based on bilateral treatment, one eye only is £390,  packages also available, cost does not include scans, call 0207 183 3725 for more details.

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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