LipiFlow® to Treat Dry Eye: What is LipiFlow®?
The new FDA-approved LipiFlow system uses specially designed eyepieces to help treat dry eye symptoms. These eyepieces use a patented, precisely controlled heat that is applied to the inner eyelid with pulsed pressure to unblock the meibomian glands. This thermal pulsation system not only unclogs the glands but also encourages them to resume their natural production of the lipids needed for healthy tears. Its single-use design and built-in sensors ensure a safe, sterile treatment.
This process lasts approximately 15 minutes. The treatment is painless, and many patients liken it to a hot stone massage for your eyes.
What results can I expect from LipiFlow treatment?
Results of the LipiFlow treatment can vary depending on the patient and the severity of their dry eye. It can take several weeks to several months for symptom reduction or relief. The good news is some patients can get relief from dry eye symptoms for as long as 2-4 years.
It’s important to understand that dry eye is a chronic condition and there is no permanent treatment for this disease. While LipiFlow is not a cure, it does help restore oil production to help improve dry eye symptoms and prevent progression of evaporative dry eye. Extended relief from LipiFlow can be affected by many factors including your age, general health, how long you’ve had evaporative dry eye syndrome, and amount of activities you do that can make dry eye symptoms worse (e.g., staring at a computer for a long time). For some patients, repeated LipiFlow treatments may be recommended or necessary.
How do I prepare for my LipiFlow exam?
The following instructions describe the steps you will take to prepare for your LipiFlow procedure. Please follow these instructions carefully.
12 hours Before LipiFlow/LipiView exams (excludes 1 month follow ups)
- Discontinue all eye drops and warm compresses 12 hours prior to LipiFlow procedure; no eye ointments for 24 hours
- Discontinue contact lens wear
- Discontinue oral antihistamines up to 1 week following LipiFlow
LipiFlow and LipiView day (morning of)
- Discontinue any eye makeup or facial moisturizers around eyes
- Bring your eye drops to the appointment & expect to go to the pharmacy after the exam for prescription eye drops
- Show up 30 minutes early unless told otherwise
- Begin your post-operative drops upon returning home, or no later than 2 hours after your procedure
- Begin your eye drops as prescribed by your doctor
- Restart preservative-free artificial tears and/or ointments
- Follow the dry eye checklist given to you by your doctor; see you in 4-6 weeks after the procedure!
Is LipiFlow Covered by Insurance?
At this time, the LipiView analysis and LipiFlow treatment are not covered by insurance. We can, however, bill your dry eye evaluation to your medical insurance.
If you suffer from dry eyes and no other treatment has helped, you may greatly benefit from LipiFlow treatment. Call our office today for more information, or click here to take our Dry Eye Self Test.