Your eyes require moisture to stay healthy and be comfortable. When the delicate moisture barrier of your eyes is compromised, it can affect not only how you feel but also your ability to see clearly. While you may never have heard of the Meibomian glands in your eyes, they play a crucial role in the overall health of your eyes. Furthermore, MGD may be one of the most common disorders of the eye that you might not have heard of. At Benjamin Eye Institute, we offer the perfect solution with LipiFlow. This relaxing treatment has been known to be one of the best MGD treatments.
How Does LipiFlow Help MGD?
LipiFlow is a revolutionary new device which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of MGD. This electronic device uses Vectored Thermal Pulsation Technology in order to remove the blockages of the Meibomian glands, restoring the production of the oils necessary to protect the delicate moisture barrier of the eye. LipiFlow's patented algorithm combines heat with gentle massage to remove the blockages. LipiFlow has been shown to be a safe, effective way to treat MGD.
LipiFlow is performed in the comfort of the Benjamin Eye Institute allowing you to rest comfortably during the procedure. The LipiFlow activators utilize a sterile, single-use device in order to deliver a combination of heat to the inner eyelids and mild massage to the outer eyelids, gently removing the blockages to the Meibomian glands. These activators are specially designed to avoid contact with the rest of your eye, so as not to harm your eye in the process. The entire process takes approximately 12 minutes. Once their function has been restored, you should notice the full benefits, with moisture returning to your eyes in approximately six to eight weeks.
What is MGD?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD, is a condition which occurs when the Meibomian glands in the eye have been compromised. These glands are responsible for secreting oils designed to lubricate the eye in order to prevent tears from evaporating too rapidly, while protecting the surface of the eye from disease.
There are approximately 25 to 40 glands on your upper eyelid, and 20 to 30 glands on your lower eyelid. When the Meibomian glands don't function correctly, your eyes are more susceptible to the effects of dry climates, air conditioning or heating systems, looking at computer or technology screens, reading, and other activities which can impact the long-term health of your eye.
What is the Tear Film on the Eye and How Does it Work?
The comfort of your eyes is protected every day by a layer known as the tear film. The tear film rests on the outer surface of your eye and is comprised of three layers:
- Mucin layer
- Aqueous layer
- Lipid layer
When one of these three layers is compromised, you can experience discomfort and irritation which manifests in redness and itchy, watery eyes. The outermost oily layer, or lipid layer, is responsible for protecting the two sublayers, keeping the moisturizing properties of the aqueous layer intact. When the Meibomian glands are unable to produce oil properly, it leaves the watery layer of your eyes vulnerable and unable to maintain the moisture of your eyes on its own.
What are the Symptoms of MGD?
MGD can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms so closely resemble those of dry eye syndrome. Only a trained eye professional like Dr. Benjamin will know exactly what to look for. Your eyes may feel dry, gritty, or itchy, and you may experience blurred vision. MGD is caused when the Meibomian glands become blocked and can no longer secrete the oils necessary to maintain the health and moisture barrier of your eye. An examination of these glands by Dr. Benjamin can show if the cause of your dry eye is due to compromised Meibomian glands.
Are There any Risks Associated with LipiFlow?
Like all medical procedures, there are risks associated with LipiFlow. Potential adverse reactions include:
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Inflammation or irritation of the eyelid
- Eye redness
Am I a Candidate for Treatment of MGD with LipiFlow?
If you have had eye surgery within the past three months, suffer from Herpes Symplex affecting your eyes, have had any eye infections, or chronic eye inflammation, you may not be a candidate for treatment with LipiFlow. Additionally, if you have moderate to severe eye allergies, eyelid inflammation, medical conditions which cause dry eye, or have eyelash extensions LipiFlow may not be a good solution for your MGD. If you suffer from dry eye and believe it could be caused by MGD, you should speak with Dr. Benjamin to see if you are a candidate for LipiFlow.
Why Should I Choose Benjamin Eye Institute?
The Benjamin Eye Institute is a world-class ophthalmology practice right here in West Hollywood. It is our goal to provide compassionate, comprehensive eye care for you and your entire family. If you suffer from dry eye and believe it may be the result of MGD, we are here to help. LipiFlow could provide the relief you need to have healthy, comfortable eyes once more.