Dry eyes are a common complaint among eye patients, especially here in the parched, dusty, windy Texas Panhandle. Some dry eye sufferers have an occasional problem while others have an ongoing issue. For those with ongoing dry eye problems, a visit to the eye doctor is important. Dry eye syndrome is much more serious than you may think.
Why are dry eyes such a problem?
Dry eyes can interfere with your daily life, and prevent you from participating in activities you love, such as running or riding bikes with your family. Dry eye syndrome can disrupt your work life, too, especially if your job is primarily computer-based or mostly spent outdoors. Left untreated, chronic dry eye syndrome can lead to blurred vision, burning, discomfort, and eye fatigue. Over time, the discomfort, burning and blurring can become debilitating.
How many people suffer from dry eyes?
According to research, 86% of patients who visit an optometrist with dry eyes have a problem with the lipid layer on their eye. Known as evaporative dry eye, this condition happens when the lipid production of the meibomian glands (oil glands) are not working properly. Without the layer of lipid protection, the tears that keep the eye moist dry up too quickly, leaving the eye's surface dry and easily irritated.
Evaporative dry eye normally happens when the ducts into the meibomian glands become congested or the glands begin producing a thick, pasty discharge. With congested ducts, the amount of lipid deposited on the eye's surface gradually diminishes. Eventually, the eyes become red, irritated, and have a gritty feeling.
Fortunately, doctors have treatment options when it comes to evaporative dry eye. One of the most recent advances for treatment on the market today is LipiFlow.
What is LipiFlow and how does it work?
LipiFlow is a leading treatment option for evaporative dry eye. It helps to open up the congested glands in your eyelids, which will allow the lipids to flow normally. This cutting-edge procedure has been out for a few years now.
In a clinical study conducted in 2012, 79% of patients treated with LipiFlow reported improvement in their dry eye symptoms within four weeks of the treatment.
An eye doctor will perform a series of Dry Eye Evaluations, which may include a LipiView tear assessment or a meibomian gland evaluation.
If LipiFlow is the recommended path of treatment, the eye doctor will use a LipiFlow Applicator. This one-time use device fits under both your upper and lower eyelids. It delivers consistent, comfortable heat to the inside layer of the eyelid, while an inflatable bladder applies a gentle pulsing massage to the outer lids. This combination of heat and pressure helps to loosen and discharge the blockages in the eyelid glands and restore normal function.
Where can I find out more about LipiFlow treatment?
If you are experiencing dry eyes, contact the Amarillo eyecare professionals at Broome Optical. We can assess your eyes and determine if the problem is evaporative dry eye and whether LipiFlow is the best treatment option for you. LipiFlow is FDA approved. For more information, give us a call at 806.355.5633, stop by our offices or fill out the form at right.