What is LipiFlow?

woman at coffee shop wiping her eyes

There are a few treatment methods for dry eye syndrome, a common eye condition in patients with inadequate tear production. Most of these treatments involve non-invasive lifestyle changes, like taking nutritional supplements.

In more extreme cases, these simple treatment methods aren’t sufficient, and surgery may be necessary. Luckily, there’s a treatment for dry eyes that don’t require surgery called Lipiflow.

Lipiflow has been clinically proven to improve dry eye symptoms after a simple, 12-minute session. How does it work? Let’s start by talking about what causes dry eye syndrome.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, especially in women and older adults. When the eye isn’t getting proper moisture, it can feel irritated, like it’s burning, or like there’s always grit in the eye.

It’s uncomfortable and can cause more significant health issues as proper moisture helps the eye stay healthy. Insufficient tear production can result from several things, like your environment to another medical condition.

Usually, when you address the cause of dry eye syndrome, the symptoms eventually fade. It can sometimes be hard to pinpoint the cause, and some treatments like nutritional supplements and artificial tears might not be entirely effective.

One common cause of dry eye syndrome, though, is having the meibomian glands blocked. The meibomian glands are the glands in your eyes that produce lipids.

Lipids form a thin, protective layer over your tears. They ensure your tears don’t evaporate too quickly on the surface of the eye. When these glands are blocked, your tears lack that protection and dry up too fast.

If other non-invasive dry eye treatments aren’t easing your symptoms, a blocked meibomian gland could likely be the cause. If that’s the case, then Lipiflow could be the best way to treat your dry eyes.

LipiFlow

Lipiflow is a quick, non-invasive, non-surgical treatment for dry eyes. The Lipiflow device breaks up blockages in the meibomian gland. By doing this, the eyes can produce lipids again and protect your tears.

Lipiflow helps your lipids “flow” better, which is where the treatment’s name comes from. It’s performed in-office and takes a total of 12 minutes. What happens during those 12 minutes? Here’s how it works:

How Lipiflow Works

lipiflow diagram

The LipiFlow device applies gentle heat and pressure to your eyelids. The activators wrap around your eyelids without touching the surface of your eye.

After turning on the Lipiflow device, it sends pulses under and over the eyelids. This pulse, which is called a Vectored Thermal Pulse (VTP), uses a combination of very light heat and pressure that breaks up blockages in your meibomian glands.

Your eye doctor will leave the activators on for twelve minutes with your eyes closed the entire time. Many patients say that undergoing LipiFlow treatment is quite relaxing!

After the treatment, your glands will begin to function more normally. It can take 6-8 weeks before you experience the maximum amount of relief after LipiFlow treatment. Some patients may need repeated LipiFlow treatments for the best results.

Tired of dry eyes that aren’t getting any better? LipiFlow may be right for you! Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Las Vegas, NV, to discuss your dry eye treatment options and find out if LipiFlow could help!

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