- How LipiFlow Works
- Frequently Asked Questions
- About the Practice
How did suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye impact your life? I had trouble keeping my eyes open because of the burning and the pain. I wore goggles most of the time; they kept air from coming into my eyes. I used Braille talking books since I couldn't read in the evening. I had trouble driving. I tried to keep doing what I could but I was just miserable. It was debilitating.
What other kinds of treatments had you tried? At the end of day I would close my eyes and put hot compresses on. I tried pretty much everything. One eye doctor said I had dry eye and just try some over-the-counter stuff. Then I got a prescription for Doxycycline; I took that for about six months and it didn't help. Then I had punctal plugs, which seemed to help for about a week.
What were your expectations of the LipiFlow treatment? They weren't that high because nothing helped me before. But I was willing to try LipiFlow because I was pretty desperate. I had already done the old-fashioned method where the doctor just pushes really hard on your eyelids to open up the oil glands. It's quite painful.
What was the LipiFlow procedure like? There was some discomfort; there wasn't any pain. Compared to the other treatment it was like going from 15th-century medical treatment to 20thcentury.
How soon after the treatment did you start feeling the effects? Right away. Within a day I would cry. I hadn't been able to actually cry for years. I was able to stop wearing the goggles unless it was windy. It was like day and night. Before this little gizmo, the only time I had relief from pain was when my eyes were shut and the compresses were on them. I've had a new job for the last six months and it requires more time on a computer. I couldn't have done that before. Elaine H.
Pre-treatment · first seen in 2007, patient reported severe suffering from dry eye syndrome for the past 4-5 years; problems were very complex and included constant severe pain, severe dryness, tearing, constant redness, headaches, fatigue, itching, blurred vision and difficulty reading · patient reports using treatments including Restasis; punctal plugs; lacriserts; doxycycline; trazadone; warm compresses; many eye drops including TheraTears, Soothe and Simalasin; belladonna; salagen; flaxseed oil; fish oils; choline supplements; herbal medicines; acupuncture and humidifiers · patient forced to wear swim goggles 95% or more of the time, and blink constantly which caused headaches · evaluation revealed only 2 minimally functional secreting meibomian glands on each lower lid, out of 24 on each; a diagnosis of severe meibomian gland dysfunction was made
Immediately post-treatment · patient reports no pain, and in fact a pleasant and soothing effect during the treatment · exam results show 7 glands open on each lid
One month post-treatment · exam results show 8 glands now open on the right eye, 7 on the left · patient reports at least 80% improvement in all symptoms; no longer has to wear goggles in the house and can go outside without them; no longer blinks constantly and headaches have resolved; states she can not believe the results, given her 5 years of pain and suffering
One year post-treatment · exam results show 9 glands open on each eye · tear film stability, redness, lid swelling and all other symptoms remain remarkably improved or resolved · patient reports she can read books, only wears goggles under severe conditions and remains much improvedwww.tearscience.com
How did suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye impact your life? I really can't see without glasses or contacts. I do public relations, I'm a spokesperson, I'm on TV. I was always worried that the day I was on TV would be the day my dry eye would act up. In general, it was a very dry and irritating - this gritty, annoying feeling like you've been out in a windstorm and there is something in your eye that you can't get out.
What other kinds of treatments had you tried? My doctor was very cautious about drops, because you can get dependent on them - but you want to use them all the time. I was constantly having to do hot compresses. Even throughout the day at my office, I would put a washcloth in the microwave. It was three times a day with drops plus several times a day with the compresses. Oh, and there were lid scrubs too, every day.
What were your expectations of the LipiFlow treatment? I was a little apprehensive. I'm very sensitive about people touching my eyes; I wasn't sure about the idea of having a heated disc even temporarily in my eye.
What was the LipiFlow procedure like? It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. Especially when you're used to having something in your eye all the time. It didn't hurt at all, just a little uncomfortable. But no pain whatsoever; it was really very easy.
How soon after the treatment did you start feeling the effects? Immediately. That was about two years ago, and I do not have problems today. The only thing that I'm doing is hot compresses in the shower because I am in the habit. I haven't done the drops since I had the treatment.
What follow-up have you had recently? I probably haven't seen my eye doctor in about a year. It's probably time for my check-up. Nancy S.
Pre-treatment · first seen in 1988, patient reported severe difficulties due to dryness; there was corneal scarring as the result of wearing contact lenses with the dryness; diagnosis of meibomian gland dysfunction · in 1991, lid swelling, redness and other symptoms developed from the meibomian gland problems; warm compresses and gland scrubs were instituted · in 1994, home treatment was unable to control the problem; redness, lid swelling, severe itching, dryness, etc. returned even more acutely, exacerbated by air travel · problems from MGD continued; symptoms were general controlled, with 1 or 2 yearly episodes of increasing dryness, redness and difficulty with lenses · in 2007, despite home therapy, evaluation revealed only 2 functional secreting meibomian glands on the right lower lid and 1 on the left, out of 24 on each; tear film stability time was 9 for the right eye and 10 for the left, Immediately post-treatment · patient finds treatment of thermodynamic heat and pulsative pressure comfortable · exam results find treatment to have been effective; approximately 10 glands on each lid have opened
One week post-treatment · exam results show 9 glands now open on the right eye, 13 on the left · patient reports significant improvement in eye comfort and redness 15 months post-treatment · exam results show 9 glands open on each eye · tear film stability, redness, lid swelling and all other symptoms remain remarkably improved or resolved · patient reports that treatment has resolved her problems and that her eyes felt better than any time she can remember; the chart of the past 21 years confirms her statementwww.tearscience.com
How did suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye impact your life? By the end of the day wearing contact lenses, my eyes were uncomfortable. Pretty much every evening I used some kind of eye drop to try to ease the burning and the discomfort. I think that I was probably in the middle range; I wasn't miserable, but I was living with this discomfort for many years. Then one of my eyes started watering pretty regularly. That was the one symptom that was most disruptive.
What other kinds of treatments had you tried? The drops were just meant to help alleviate the discomfort, not really treat the dry eye. My doctor suggested it would be smart to use warm compresses and then do a scrub on the inner parts of the eyelids, to help keep the discomfort down a little bit. He also suggested some blinking exercises, which I did for a while and then stopped doing.
How did you get diagnosed? I go annually to the eye doctor and at some point way back when he probably said, “How are your eyes feeling?” and I said, “They're tired.” He told me I had dry eye, like so many people. That was the reason my eyes were tired and hurt at the end of the day.
How have your eyes been since the LipiFlow treatment? My eyes have definitely improved. I can leave my contact lenses in longer, and it's more comfortable. I'm not as desperate to get them out at the end of the day. I still use the warm compresses; I have done that religiously since the day my doctor told me to do it. A year after the treatment, I realized that I hadn't needed to put eye drops in at the end of the day and my eye hasn't been dripping. And it sort of hit me that I actually had improved. I was very struck by this – I hadn't been focusing on my eyes and had gone back to my life. Ricky H.
Pre-treatment · first seen in 1985, patient doing well but reported that eyes were very sensitive · in 1986, noted 75% obstruction of meibomian glands · the problems with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction continued – reflected in increasing dryness, redness and difficulties with lenses · in 1994, advised that warm compresses and blinking were mandatory, not only for wearing contact lenses but also to avoid redness, burning and recurrent episodes of conjunctivitis · punctal plugs were somewhat but not totally helpful · in 2008, despite home therapy, evaluation revealed only 4 functional secreting meibomian glands on each lower lid; tear film stability time was 10 seconds for each eye.
One week post-treatment · exam results show 11 glands now open on the right eye, 7 on the left · patient reports improvement on day 1, not the rest of the week; she summarized it as “surprising improvement”
One month post-treatment · exam results show 10 glands open on the right eye, 13 on the left · tear film stability for each eye is 20 seconds, · patient reported small improvement; physician counsels that symptoms may not improve for some time because of long-term tissue changes
15 months post-treatment · exam results show 10 glands open on each eye · tear film stability remains at A+ level · patient reports that treatment had been “like a delayed reaction” – noted there was no more tearing, and other symptoms including aching had resolvedwww.tearscience.com
How did suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye impact your life? It was horribly uncomfortable – a feeling like my eyes were scratched. I had some light sensitivity; I couldn’t wear my contacts much. It was uncomfortable when I was outside, especially if it was windy. Sometimes I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t read. I was continually putting drops in. I just had so many problems with my eyes, it was brutal. I have a high tolerance to pain, but it was a constant nuisance at best. I was just miserable.
What other kinds of treatments had you tried? I had punctal plugs, which helped some. I used warm compresses, I used just about every kind of drop.
What was the LipiFlow treatment like? Was there any pain or discomfort? No. I just sat back in a chair and they put these things on my eyes and I sat there and talked to the nurse for a little while and that was it. I could certainly feel the heat but it was nothing painful.
After the LipiFlow treatment, when did you start feeling relief? I would say within a few days; it was a gradual thing. But it didn’t take more then a few days until I could tell a big difference.
What has been the difference since the LipiFlow treatment? Massive. It has made a huge difference. I use drops once in a blue moon. I can wear my contacts. I usually don’t wear them everyday, but I certainly can wear them and have them in all day long; that was something that I wasn’t able to do. I’m able to walk outside on a windy day, sit in front of the computer, do my sewing. It’s very exciting. This has made a huge, huge difference.
How did the treatment compare to your expectations? It’s been better then I expected. This has been almost the best.
Dr. James Lewis is an experienced Philadelphia / New Jersey cornea specialist who is proud to provide leading-edge treatments to patients who suffer from dry eye, Sjögren’s Syndrome and other severe vision conditions. To learn more about the treatment options available, contact Dr. Lewis today at 215-886-9090.