Relief from Dry Eyes
What Causes Dry Eyes?
The surface of the eye is covered in a lining of tears called the tear film. The tear film is made up of three layers: the Lipid (oil) layer which lubricates and prevents evaporation of the tears, the Aqueous (water) layer, which nourishes and protects the eye surface, and the Mucin layer, which adheres to the eye. Since the tear film is exposed directly to the air, the protective lipid layer is essential to maintaining a healthy tear film on the eye. When the protective lipid layer of the tear film is deficient, the eye surface can become irritated and dry eye symptoms occur.
Johnson City Eye Center is now offering an innovative new treatment for dry eye sufferers. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for the state-of-the-art treatment, Lipiflow®:
- Eye dryness
- Light sensitivity
- Vision fluctuations
- Contact lens intolerance
- Eye fatigue
BlephEx is a painless in-office procedure performed by your eyecare professional or Certified Lid Hygienist. 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 debris and exfoliating your eyelids.
The patented micro-sponge is disposable and for optimal cleaning and exfoliating, a fresh, clean sponge is used for each eyelid. The eyes are well rinsed afterwards.
The procedure typically takes 6-8 minutes. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort. Most patients describe a tickling sensation.
After the procedure, the patient is educated on how to maintain clean eyelids with diligent, nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.
The Lipiflow® System is a thermal pulsation treatment that combines heat with physical massage to liquefy and express the meibomian gland contents.
For the treatment, the patient is comfortably reclined and a numbing drop is instilled into the eyes. The activator device, similar to a contact lens, will be positioned in each eye. Lipiflow® directs controlled warmth, while applying a pulsating massage to remove obstruction and debris. This allows the meibomian glands to release natural oils into the tear film.
The patient will relax with eyes closed around the eyepiece for approximately 12-15 minutes. There will be someone with you to monitor the entire process.
Possible side effects from Lipiflow® are minimal, and clinical studies tell us that the positive results of this treatment average from 12-24* months.
* Results vary with the severity of each patient’s condition. Please allow 2-6 weeks to achieve optimal results following treatment.
ADVANCED DRY EYE THERAPY
By combining these two very effective treatments we are better able to address chronic dry eye symptoms, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction* and Evaporative Dry Eye.
The Advanced Dry Eye Therapy begins with the BlephEx procedure and continue at-home lid hygiene with recommended tear therapy for approximately 2 weeks**. At this point you will be scheduled for the Lipiflow® treatment. Regularly scheduled follow-up appointments with your eye care physician will continue as standard.
In a three-year study, Meibomian gland secretion scores and the Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) scores showed improvement continued at three years. Tear film break-up time (TBUT) and the average Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score both showed improvement at one month but were no longer statistically significant at one year and two years, respectively***.
*MGD can be a chronic and progressive disease requiring additional Lipiflow® treatments.
**Your Physician may recommend same-day BlephEx and Lipiflow® treatments.
***Greiner JV. Long-term (3-year) effects of a single thermal pulsation system treatment on Meibomian gland function and dry-eye symptoms. Eye Contact Lens. March, 2016