How Does LipiFlow® Treat Dry Eye?

How Does LipiFlow® Treat Dry Eye?

How Does LipiFlow® Treat Dry Eye?

How Does LipiFlow® Treat Dry Eye?

How Does LipiFlow® Treat Dry Eye?

Most patients with dry eye have been going for treatments that do not deal with the root cause. Currently, ophthalmologists prefer not to send their patients home with remedies they may not follow. LipiFlow® presents a drug-free, safe, and effective method of treating dry eyes.


What Is LipiFlow?

LipiFlow is an FDA-approved technology that treats dry eye disease caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. Approximately 86 percent of individuals suffering from dry eyes have MGD. The treatment that is technically known as LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation clears and opens the clogged glands.

Most dry eye treatments give short-term relief by treating tear production. The longer-lasting alternative would be to restore the function of the meibomian glands. Thus, the enhancement of tear production may not solve the root problem of the condition. LipiFlow is a long-term solution for dry eyes.


What Causes Meibomian Glands Dysfunction?

Most people are handicapped by meibomian gland dysfunction without being aware of it. The problem arises when the tiny glands that make the oil layer of the tears are impaired. The oil helps prevent the tears from evaporating and drying up fast. 

MGD develops when changes arise to the glands, quality, or amount of oil. Several things contribute to this condition, such as age or wearing contacts. Common medical problems also lead to the problem, such as autoimmune diseases like arthritis or lupus.


How Does LipiFlow Work?

LipiFlow carefully applies heat and pressure to your inner and outer eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. The inward release of heat on the glands liquefies the blockages. On the other hand, the gentle pressure applied externally on the lid passes through the base of the gland to its opening. Doing so helps unclog and flush out dead cells found in the gland. 


What to Expect During Treatment

A LipiFlow treatment will take up to 12 minutes to treat each eye. You can have both eyes treated in one appointment. Your eye doctor will use a mild anesthetic as drops to each of your eyes. You will then go through a debridement, the procedure that loosens debris found on the edge of your eyelids. 

You may receive another anesthetic drop depending on how much time elapses before the treatment begins. Your doctor will gently place an eyepiece on your eyes as you lie in a reclined chair. You will need to keep your eyes closed throughout the treatment.

After placing the applicators, your eye doctor will begin the LipiFlow treatment. You will feel gentle pressure and warmth on your eyelids. You will experience two cycles going for six minutes each.

There will be a warming phase, then intermittent pulsations followed by steady pressure. The second cycle also begins with warming. The treatment stages help remove the blockages in the glands.



Most dry eye patients who undergo LipiFlow get relief from their symptoms within two weeks of the treatment. According to research, 84 percent of them show an improvement in their gland secretions within a month of treatment. Those who have had the chronic condition for over a year report significant changes after four to five months.

For more about LipiFlow, visit Eye Center of Virginia at our office in Williamsburg, Virginia. You can call (757) 919-3500 to book an appointment today.

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