August 31, 2020
Unsurprisingly, dry eye syndrome is most often characterized by its title symptom – dry eyes. However, without treatment, dry eye syndrome can be debilitating and cause the patient to experience a range of unpleasant effects including itchiness, irritated eyes, redness, soreness, blurred vision, eye fatigue and more.
Occasional dry eyes do not necessarily require professional intervention. However, a large percentage of patients suffer from chronic or recurrent episodes of dry eyes and need guidance from a professional in order to overcome their daily symptoms. Two of the most popular and effective treatments are known as LipiFlow and BlephEx®.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (or MGD for short) is a very common contributor to the development of dry eye syndrome. It occurs when there are blockages in the meibomian glands – the glands which are responsible for the production of the oil that is found in tear film. Sometimes, the oils harden into clumps that prevent the flow of adequate oil into tear film. This prevents the tear film from being as effective as it should be and allows the watery layer of your tears to dry out.
LipiFlow uses gentle pulses of heat combined with slight pressure and massage in order to remove blockages in meibomian glands. In doing so, it makes tear film more effective and able to flow out of the ducts more effectively, coating the surface of the eyes and keeping them moist and comfortable. As a result, dry eye symptoms are reduced or eliminated.
LipiFlow is carried out using special devices called activators, which are single-use sterile devices that fit under and over the eyelids. They are contoured above the cornea so that they don’t make any contact with the surface of the eye itself. LipiFlow takes approximately 12 minutes per eye, making it possible to fit the treatment into a lunchbreak. Although patients report some feelings of warmth or tingling, most people experience no pain. In fact, many patients report feeling like they spent time at the spa! While you may notice some improvement in your dry eye symptoms immediately, optimal results are usually experienced 6-8 weeks after treatment.
Blepharitis is a condition that is characterized by red, swollen and itchy eyelids. It’s not usually serious, but in some instances, it can lead to the patient experiencing other ocular problems, including dry eyes. BlephEx® is a revolutionary in-office treatment that cleans debris from your eyelid margins – something which has been shown to improve eyelid hygiene and reduce the symptoms associated with dry eye. Eyelids need to be healthy for effective tear film production.
BlephEx® is a patented hand piece that has a very small, medical grade micro-sponge at one end. When in use, the BlephExÔ machine rapidly spins this sponge and as it oscillates, your eye specialist will move it along the edges of your eyelids and lashes, where it will remove scurf and debris while also exfoliating your eyelids. In doing so, the process removes all excess bacteria, biofilm and other harmful microorganisms that are causing the symptoms that you may be experiencing. With treatments several times per year, it is possible for the eyelids to stay clean and for patients to experience long-term relief from their symptoms.
Each eye is treated with a new, disposable micro-sponge, ensuring no transmission of any bacteria between eyes or patients. The process can be completed quickly, and whilst it is painless, you may be given numbing drops ahead of the treatment to increase your comfort. There is no downtime, and patients can go back to their usual activities immediately following treatment.
For more information about dry eyes, or to schedule an appointment to discuss either of these effective dry eye treatments with our team, do not hesitate to call us at (253) 780-0700 to schedule an appointment.