Lipiflow: Dry eye relief technology
Thirty million Americans suffer from dry eye. In fact, the condition is on the rise due to overuse of our digital devices. Now, new technology is giving relief to those dealing with chronic dry eye.
Robin Pearsall is an avid reader. But ten years ago, she couldn’t enjoy a good book.
Pearsall said, “It got to where I felt I had sand in my eye, felt gritty, which is very uncomfortable.”
Turns out Pearsall suffers from dry eye, a condition on the rise. Chandra Mickles, OD, MSc, FAAO, FSLS, Associate Professor & Coordinator of Dry Eye Care Center at Nova Southeastern University says the symptoms are more than just annoying.
“Dryness, scratchy eyes, they feel like something is in their eye, we call it foreign body sensation,” Dr. Mickles said.
She says up to 80 percent of people with dry eye suffer from a common condition called MGD or meibomian gland dysfunction.
“They produce the oil that prevents the tears from evaporating,” Dr. Mickles said.
Up until now, doctors would have to manually push on the glands to get the oil out. Now new technology is changing that. It’s called Lipiflow!
“It’s actually pressing on the glands with a gentle pressure to express them,” Dr. Mickles explained.
FDA approved Lipiflow works by heating up the oil in the glands and then gently expressing them.
The entire process takes 12 minutes. And the best part?
“The studies show that it lasts 12 months,” Dr. Mickles said.
Lipiflow is not covered by insurance yet. But Pearsall feels it’s worth it.
Pearsall said, “I know I’m taking as good care of myself as I can, and I’m buying peace of mind.”
Keeping her eyes healthy and protected for years to come.
Dr. Mickles says if dry eye is left untreated the glands could die and then it’s too late to treat. Right now, one Lipiflow treatment costs between $900 and $1,500 dollars depending on the center. Dr. Mickles recommends patients continue lid hygiene at home such as using warm compresses in between treatments.
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Judy Reich, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Dave Harrison, Editor.