What is Lipiflow® dry eye treatment?
LipiFlow Treatment is is the only FDA-approved treatment for relieving the “root problem”- obstruction of the oil glands in your eyelid. It is indicated if you have Evaporative Dry Eye disease.
Evaporative Dry Eye is a disease that results from not having enough lipids in the tear
film to protect the eye. Evaporative dry eye is most often caused by a blockage or
obstruction of the eyelid glands, called the Meibomian Glands, which produce the
lipid layer of the tear film.
How does Lipiflow work?
The LipiFlow® System is a medical device used by an optometrist to apply heat and
pressure to the eyelids to allow the lipids from the blocked eyelid glands to flow into
the tear film. Your optometrist will determine if the LipiFlow® System is an appropriate
treatment option for you based on a complete eye examination, including evaluation
for blocked glands and associated dry eye symptoms
What can you expect before Lipidflow treatment
On the NIGHT BEFORE your treatment, do NOT place any ointment in either eye
Prior the treatment date, please continue your ocular treatment as follows:
- Hot compresses and massage of the lower and upper eyelids of both eyes: once or twice daily
- Fish oil supplements: once daily
- Artificial tear drops or ointment: both eyes, as needed during the day and at bedtime
On the DAY Of treatment:
- Do NOT apply hot compresses to either eye
- Do NOT massage or rub either eye
- Do NOT place any drops or lubricants in either eye
- Do NOT apply makeup, eye creams, facial creams, or sunscreen to your face
- You MAY take any oral medications that are prescribed by the ophthalmology clinic or any of
your other health care practitioners.
- There are NO dietary or fluid restrictions
- You do NOT need a driver for this visit
How long does Lipiflow treatment take?
The treatment takes around 12 minutes
Is Lipidflow treatment Painful?
In a clinical study, 32% of patients reported no discomfort and 48% of patients noted
awareness of pressure without pain during LipiFlow treatment. In fact, the average
discomfort/pain score during treatment on a scale of 1-10 was 1.4 ± 1.4. Moderate
discomfort was reported in 17% of patients and moderate pain was reported in 3% of
patients during treatment. In all cases, the discomfort resolved soon after treatment.
The average cost of Lipiflow therapy ranges from $600 to $1,000 in addition to consultation fees.
Are Lipiflow treatment costs covered by insurance?
LipiFlow therapy is not covered by private medical insurance or Medicare.
Alternative treatment to Lipidflow treatment
Manual expression of your eyelid glands by your doctor or optometrist.
• Warm compress therapy and eyelid hygiene using scrubs or massage.
• Topical prescription medications
• Over-the-counter tear replacements and lubricants for dry eye.
• Punctal plugs made of silicone or collagen inserted in the tear ducts.
• Cauterisation (sealing) of the opening of the tear duct in the eye.
Prognosis of Lipidflow treatment
It is possible that your dry eye symptoms and blocked eyelid glands will improve. It is also possible that your condition will remain the same or worsen.
Possible adverse events that may occur as a result of the treatment procedure include, but are not limited to the onset of or increase in: eyelid or eye pain requiring discontinuation of the treatment procedure; redness and/or swelling of the eyelid or eye surface; irritation of the eye surface; inflammation of the glands in the eyelid; stye in the eyelid; slight worsening of eyelid gland blockage; and eye symptoms of dryness, redness, burning sensation, stinging, tearing, itching, discharge, foreign body or sticky sensation, eye fatigue, hazy or blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.
Does Lipiflow treat meibomian gland dysfunction?
LipiFlow is specifically designed to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, which also causes dry eye disease for many patients. Other forms of dry eye may have a different root cause and may require a separate treatment plan.