What Is LipiFlow Eye Massage and How Can It Help Me?

Research shows that more than 30 million people live with dry eye syndrome in the United States. And, of those individuals, 86% also had meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This common problem occurs when tiny glands in the eyelids become blocked and stop making the oils you need for healthy tears. The result? Your tears evaporate more quickly, leaving your eyes irritated and uncomfortable.

In the past, ophthalmologists and optometrists had to manually clear blockages in the meibomian glands. This approach was sometimes uncomfortable and not always the most effective solution. However, the TearScience® LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System has revolutionized MGD treatment, and it comes with little — if any — discomfort.

Our team at VIP Laser Eye Center offers comprehensive eye care with the most advanced procedures available to keep our patients seeing clearly and comfortably. If you have dry eye syndrome caused by MGD, here’s how eye massage with LipiFlow could help.

Introducing the LipiFlow system

LipiFlow is an FDA-cleared device designed to restore meibomian gland function by removing blockages. It doesn’t require drugs or surgery. Instead, it uses cutting-edge Vector Thermal Pulse Technology (VTP). This technology uses precise amounts of heat, pulses, and pressure to liquefy trapped obstructions and push them out of the gland orifices.

During your treatment, our team places a single-use sterile device called an Activator over your eye. The Activator delivers the VTP technology, which passes through your eyelids to your meibomian glands. The gentle heat and pressure then work together to create a gentle massage.

Besides unblocking oil glands, this treatment can improve natural oil production for the tear film, boost health for the eye’s surface, and relieve dry eye symptoms. In fact, LipiFlow treatments can improve meibomian gland secretion by three times in a single session.

What to expect during a LipiFlow massage

LipiFlow treatments — which usually take about 12 minutes — take place during a regular office visit and feel like a gentle eye massage. While they aren’t painful, we often apply an anesthetic eye drop before you begin to guarantee your comfort throughout the process.

To administer your treatment, we apply an Activator cup to your eyelids. Their vaulted contour design provides a comfortable fit, and they also contain redundant sensors. Together, their advanced technology protects the delicate structures in the eye and cornea throughout your treatment.

In addition to your LipiFlow session, our team supplements your treatment with BlephEx™. This handheld, motorized device helps exfoliate and remove debris from your eyelids and lashes to help reduce eyelid inflammation.

While some people see results from LipiFlow treatments immediately, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks to notice the full benefits. Depending on your symptoms and condition, we might recommend a series of LipiFlow sessions.

LipiFlow results can last anywhere from 1-2 years. However, both dry eye and MGD are chronic conditions without cures, so you may need ongoing treatment each year to maintain your results.

To learn more about LipiFlow and to see if it could help with your dry eye symptoms, schedule an appointment over the phone with the VIP Laser Eye Center location nearest you today.

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