Dry Eye

dryeye1LipiFlow Dry Eye Treatment

Eye Care of Iowa is excited to provide specialized focus through our Dry Eye Clinic. Over 100 million people worldwide have some form of dry eye. We understand your aggravation with the limitations of traditional treatments and are dedicated to bringing you the very best technology available to treat this uncomfortable disease, so that you can enjoy the best possible relief.

If you’ve experienced this painful condition, or think you may have it, we can identify the cause of your symptoms and apply treatment appropriate to your particular needs that may make your daily discomfort a distant memory. We also offer the new LipiFlow® thermal pulsation treatment, if you experience evaporative Dry Eye you can now get this treatment in our office. With only one treatment, you can experience sustained relief.

If you experience any of these issues every now and then you may benefit from a visit to Eye Care of Iowa:

  • dryness
  • discomfort and irritation
  • grittiness or feeling of a foreign body in the eye
  • burning or stinging sensation
  • redness
  • discharge
  • tiredness
  • itching
  • vision disturbance
  • sensitivity to light

Treat The Cause

Individuals with moderate to severe dry eye encounter great discomfort and seek new approaches from traditional therapies, which only offer minimal symptomatic relief. Eye care physicians are equally discouraged with the restricted tools offered to properly diagnose and treat dry eye. Eye Care of Iowa in Pleasant Hill offers a new technology to better diagnosis and treat the source of evaporative dry eye. Contact us today to learn more.

dryeye2How Dry Eye Affects You

What are a few of the risk factors for Evaporative Dry Eye? Hormonal changes in women during menopause especially decreasing levels of estrogen can cause coagulation of the oils secreted by the meibomian glands, which leads to blockages. Decreased estrogen levels may enhance conditions under which staphylococcal bacteria can proliferate in the meibomian glands. This leads to a decreased oil secretion rate. Additional factors that may cause or exacerbate meibomian gland dysfunction include age, contact lens use and hygiene, cosmetic use, and illnesses, particularly diabetes.

How Dry Eye can negatively impact your vision and your life

The symptoms of Dry Eye can be uncomfortable and a big burden. Standard visual tasks, like reading, using a computer, driving or watching television may become difficult. Wearing contact lenses may be impossible. And, you might find that symptoms get worse later in the day, keeping you from enjoying the activities you want to do. Underlying the considerable discomfort is a real physical condition that needs treatment to stop the cycle of Dry Eye deterioration and worsening symptoms.

Dry Eye is a chronic disease and without proper management, the deterioration may look like this:

  • Unstable tear film
  • Damage to the eye surface
  • Further discomfort
  • Inflammation and cell damage
  • Fluctuation and decrease in vision

LipiFlow® is designed to provide relief, so you can get on with your life. If you’re ready to get started, call us to schedule an assessment appointment. Reduce your dependence on drops or maybe even eliminate them.

dryeye3What Is Evaporative Dry Eye?

There are two main forms dry eye: evaporative and aqueous deficient. Evaporative Dry Eye is a persistent disorder that can get worse over time. It occurs when the water in your tears evaporates faster than normal, due to an unsatisfactory lipid (oil) layer on the tear film of your eye. Current research shows that almost 85% of patients with dry eye have some evaporative component. This unsatisfactory oil is often due to clogged meibomian glands, which release health oil with each full blink of the eyelid.

Most current forms of dry eye treatment on the market today aim to treat aqueous deficient dry eye (artificial tears, punctal plugs, Restasis, lubricating gels, moisture goggles). Only the LipiFlow System provides the correct amount and placement of heat necessary to treat evaporative dry eye. Many doctors in the past have recommended the use of warm compresses. While this form of treatment begins to address the issue of evaporative dry eye, it does have it’s own drawbacks. The blood vessels surrounding the eyelid quickly whisk away heat applied in the form of a warm compress over the eye, as this external heat source can damage the eye. A thick plate called the tarsal plate also separates the external heat source, allowing very little heat to actually reach the meibomian glands. Lastly, the amount of heat often necessary to penetrate past this plate is enough to cause heat damage and burning to the cornea.

Dry Eye Evaluation

How do we determine if you are experiencing Dry Eye? We will perform a series of evaluations and identify the likely cause of your Dry Eye symptoms. First, you will complete a Dry Eye lifestyle questionnaire this brief assessment allows us to understand how your eyes feel on a daily basis. (Feel free to print out our online copy, complete the questionnaire, and bring it to your next appointment.) If the questionnaire suggests symptoms beyond mild, we will proceed with LipiView®. This technology allows the physician to evaluate the lipid (oil) layer on your eye. Here’s how it works: LipiView® takes extremely detailed images of your eye’s tear film.

The testing is non-invasive, is performed in our office, and takes under five minutes to complete. The tear film can be clearly viewed as an array of colors that are reflected when a light source is directed towards the front surface of the eye and readings are instantly calculated and displayed on the LipiView® monitor. The LipiView® system also records blink rate as well as how many of the blinks are full, complete blinks.

One of our doctors will then perform a Meibomian gland evaluation. There are 25-30 small glands on each lower eye lid. The doctor will evaluate the quality of lipid being produced by these glands, as well as how many glands are actually producing lipid. The doctor will then pull down on the lower lid and illuminate the glands through the lid to evaluate the gland structure themselves. Incomplete closure of the eyelid upon relaxation is also evaluated, as well as a green non-toxic dye applied to the eye to evaluate dryness and dead cells on the lower eye lid and eye ball itself. A small sterile tool is used to gently scrap away these dead cells from the lower eye lid margin.

LipiView® is an imaging device that is intended for use by a physician in adult patients to capture pictures of the tear film. The following problems may affect the assessment of a patient’s tear film using the LipiView®:

  • Use of ophthalmic drops such as artificial tear lubricants, ointments, and medications. Patients should not use oil-based ophthalmic drops (e.g., Soothe®, Restasis®) for at least 12 hours before LipiView® assessment. Patients should not use ointments for at least 24 hours prior to LipiView® use. Patients should wait at least 4 hours after the instillation of all other ophthalmic drops prior to LipiView® use.
  • Soft or rigid contact lens wear. Patients should remove contact lenses at least 4 hours prior to device use. Use of oil-based facial cosmetics around the eye.
  • Eye rubbing. Recent swimming in a chlorinated pool. Patients should not swim for at least 12 hours prior to LipiView® use.
  • Any ocular surface condition that affects the stability of the tear film. These conditions include disease, dystrophy, trauma, scarring, surgery, or abnormality. Following these evaluations, we will then determine whether or not you have Evaporative Dry Eye or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and if you are a candidate for LipiFlow®.

dryeye4Dry Eye Treatment

The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is an innovative way to treat Evaporative Dry Eye caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Opening and clearing blocked glands allows the body to return to the natural development of lipids (oils) needed for the tear film. The outcome may eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms connected with Evaporative Dry Eye.

At the heart of the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System is the Activator (eyepiece). The Activator uses patented, precisely controlled heat applied to the inner eyelid with adaptive pressure encouraging your body to resume the natural production of lipids (oils) needed for your tear film. Its single-use design and built-in sensors ensure a safe, sterile treatment. The treatment is performed in a doctor’s office — and in some cases, on the same day as your evaluation. The temperature reaches a comfortable 47 degree Celsius (118 degree Farehiet) , and the whole procedure takes about 12 minutes.

LipiFlow®, the groundbreaking treatment, addresses the cause of Evaporative Dry Eye If you’ve been unable to receive long-lasting relief from the over-the-counter or prescription remedies you’ve tried, it may be because they haven’t been targeting the primary cause of your condition– the blockage of your Meibomian glands located in your eyelids. Perhaps you’ve tried things like eye drops and warm compresses, which many find inconvenient and only offer short-term relief.

The LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, by TearScience®, is a significant technological shift managing evaporative dry eye. With a single procedure, applying a combination of directed heat and pulsation pressure, many find a single treatment effective in relieving the blockage of their Meibomian glands.

The LipiFlow® System is intended for the application of localized heat and pressure therapy in adult patients with evaporative dry eye. Opening the blocked glands may allow your body to resume its natural production of tear film oil. No other Dry Eye THERAPIES do what the Thermal Pulsation System can! LipiFlow® treatment is clinically proven with sustained results. In a clinical study about 79 % of patients reported an improvement in overall dry eye symptoms after a single LipiFlow® treatment. Depending on the severity of your specific condition and your response to treatment, you may need to repeat the LipiFlow® treatment periodically as your symptoms return over time. With LipiFlow® and regular checks and ongoing care to monitor your progress– let us help you experience Dry Eye relief like never before.

Goodbye Evaporative Dry Eye. Get started today! If you’re ready to kick Evaporative Dry Eye, all it takes is a phone call to get started. Make an evaluation appointment to in our Dry Eye Clinic and determine if you’re a candidate for LipiFlow®.

dryeye5Why is LipiFlow® superior to other Dry Eye therapies?

If you’re a moderate or severe Evaporative Dry Eye sufferer, life can seem like a constant battle to alleviate symptoms. Those drops and warm compresses become a regular ritual. You’ve tried blinking exercises and lid scrubs. And you avoid wearing contact lenses and extended sessions in front of the computer. If this sounds familiar, you may need LipiFlow®. It’s the breakthrough treatment for evaporative Dry Eye. LipiFlow® is:

The first and only treatment that addresses the cause of Evaporative Dry Eye at the source, allowing your eyelid glands to produce the oils required for a healthy tear film. Other treatments such as warm com, presses and drops just give you temporary symptomatic relief.

The only treatment that can give you sustained relief through improved gland function. Other treatments require daily, and some times even hourly, attention to keep your Evaporative Dry Eye under control.