Hello. I’m Dr. Croley and welcome to Case of the Day. Today we’re gonna discuss a revolutionary new treatment for dry eyes called LipiFlow. Also there is another machine attached by the machine called LipiFlow called LipiView. So tears science makes two machines. One machine, which is LipiView, which analyzes a tear film and this is what you see on the TV here. So this is a tear analysis of the outer oily layer or lipid layer to the tear film and this is two different eyes but you can see on this I held there’s a lot of color in the tear film and this lipid layer is over a hundred microns which is fantastic, normal.
The other eye is more like 45 or an average of 32 so there’s no oil on this side. So if we watch…It’s not gonna let me re analyze it so we are going to redo it, but we can play how it captures tear film. So not only do we watch, we watch the blinking. The blinking if they don’t blink all the way down to all the way then that is also a problem with dry eyes because they don’t have a complete blink, it spread the tears around.
Also with the upper lid hits the lower lid, the oil glands openings are right here, and that causes a release of the oil into the tear film and this actually counts how many partial blinks. On the side there were 3 out of 9 partial blinks during the time of the machine was testing their tear film. But you can see here there’s a lot better oil layer than this side so this person has significant amount of dry eyes with a level of 32. And this person has over a hundred, so significant errors between the two. Once we know that someone has this kind of Meibomian Gland Disease, then they are an excellent candidate for the actual LipiFlow treatment.
So what does Lipiflow treatment do? It’s actually an apparatus that’s put inside the eye and this apparatus goes inside the lower and upper lid and on the outside. On the inside is a heating element that heats up the glands. The Meibomian glands are actually located inside the lid or closer to inside of the lid and so the heating element heats up to 106 degrees. So therefore just like you put butter in a skillet, as you heat it, it melts. So as this heats up to 160 degrees and tries to more liquify the lipid in those glands so they can now be expressed or cleaned out so the glands will work well again.
So on the outside the apparatus is a balloon, and this balloon then pumps up and presses the lid so it intermittently presses and squeezes on the lid after it seeded the glands up to them trying to express and clean the glands out. The treatment lasts 12 minutes and it’s not uncomfortable it’s very comfortable to have done and it works very well and in our experience better than 90% of the people feel they get results. They’re happy, their eyes feel better and their dry eye improves.
This has been a new advancement as far as the treatment for dry eyes. LipiFlow is the only FDA-approved treatment for dry eyes due to Meibomian Gland Deficiency or dysfunction. If you look at the numbers, approximately 75% of people have Meibomian Gland Disease which is causing their dry eyes. Most of the people that we see are treatable as far as having the dry eye condition.
We also put people on certain other protocols; we have a special tear drop that we use for people with Meibomian Gland Disease because their oily layer is low so we have an oily layer containing or lipid-containing tear drop. This is the only one that is preservative-free on the market. It’s called Retaine MGD. We also typically put them on HydroEye supplement which is an omega 6 fatty acid from black currant seed oil. Then we put them also on hot compresses to treat the glands try to heat them up a little bit. The hot compress doesn’t work to this extent of the lipiflow, but it does give some help especially on a continual basis to try to keep your glands as healthy as we can.
Other things that contribute to Meibomian gland disease is chronic inflammation of the eyelashes or lids for the lashes going Blepharitis. So people with chronic Blepharitis and have Meibomian gland disease and so that Blepharitis needs to be cleared up as well. So that’s something we look up to for good people with dry eyes. Do they have Blepharitis along with Meibomian gland disease? And we have to treat that part in order to keep their eyes doing well on the long term.
So if you have any questions about LipiFlow and LipiView and other things we do for dry eyes you can always contact us through the website and if not may God bless you with healthy eyes and great vision.