86% OF PATIENTS WITH DRY EYE HAVE MGD
For over 60 years, the term “Dry Eye” has been generally applied to a variety of uncomfortable eye surface problems, much in the same way the term back pain is generally used. The eye feels uncomfortable, but the cause is unknown. Dry eye symptoms have primarily been thought to be a direct result of the eye’s inability to produce the proper amount of natural tears, but we now know that is not the case for many dry eye sufferers.
Today, the leading cause of dry eye is known to be Meibomian Gland Disease (MGD) for over 86% of patients who present with symptoms, such as discomfort, redness, tearing, gritty or burning sensations and blurry vision. While MGD is chronic and progressive, if caught early, it can be effectively treated to stop the progression and maintain optimal eye health.
UNDERSTANDING MGD, THE LEADING CAUSE OF DRY EYE
MGD occurs when the meibomian glands, located in the eyelids, do not sufficiently produce and release the oils needed to protect and maintain a healthy tear film. This causes the watery layer in the tear film to evaporate. Thus, the problem for many dry eye patients is not inadequate tear production, as thought for so many years, but a lack of oil production that ensures the protective integrity of the tear film is maintained on a daily basis.
LIPIFLOW, A PROVEN MGD TREATMENT
The only electronic FDA-cleared treatment for MGD is LipiFlow, which uses a precise application of heat to the inside of the eyelids, close to the location of the meibomian glands, and massage to outside of the eyelids.
LipiFlow uses vectored thermal pulsating eyepieces known as Activators. LipiFlow Activators are precisely designed to provide necessary inner and outer lid contact to properly apply heat and massage and evacuate the meibomian glands. The entire treatment takes approximately 12 minutes.
The clinical science behind MGD as the primary cause of dry eye and its treatment is supported by over 25 years of scientific research. Removal of the gland blockages is essential to improve gland function and reduce the progression of MGD. Over time after treatment, the meibomian glands may become blocked again because of continued evaporative stress, which is caused by infrequent blinking from modern lifestyles and leads to thickening of the gland secretions and blockage of oil production.
When the Vectored Thermal Pulse (VTPTM) LipiFlow treatment is properly applied, the heat and gentle massaging action evacuate the blockages from the glands, allowing the glands to resume oil production. You and your eye care professional can determine how often LipiFlow should be repeated based on evaluation of your gland function and structure over time.