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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

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Heat Therapy for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs for a variety of reasons. The leading cause of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which affects the essential oil layer of the eye’s tear film and causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. Mild to moderate cases of dry eye causes discomfort, while severe dry eye can result in permanent damage and scarring of the cornea.

More than 85% of patients who visit their eye doctor due to dry eye symptoms are diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction. MGD is chronic and the symptoms generally worsen when left untreated.

Fortunately, a certain procedure, called meibomian gland expression, uses heat to unblock glands in the eyelids to relieve the itchy, gritty feeling caused by MGD.

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?

The meibomian glands are located along the outer edges of your upper and lower eyelids, where they produce complex oily fluid that stabilizes the tear film and slows the evaporation of your tears. This is an essential function, as tears ensure your cornea lubricated for comfortable and clear vision.

When the meibomian glands don’t function properly or are blocked, the oil layer of your tear film isn’t thick enough to keep your eyes moist. In addition to the rapid evaporation of tears, this creates greater friction between the cornea and eyelids, resulting in eye irritation.

What Is Meibomian Gland Expression?

Just like the pores in our skin, the tiny meibomian glands can be blocked with thickened oil residue. Meibomian gland expression is a procedure that unblocks the gland by squeezing out a tiny amount of oil from the glands. This also allows your eye doctor to determine how to best open the glands permanently.

The process is not only a method for diagnosing MGD, but also a therapy that can remove the blockage and reduce MGD symptoms.

How Does It Work?

Meibomian gland expression involves gently expressing and squeezing out the oils of the glands by applying pressure to the eyelids.

The eye doctor uses tiny forceps or paddle-like instruments to compress the lower and upper eyelids. The doctor may also apply a warm compress before the expression of the gland for the smooth secretion of the hardened oils that clog the glands.

Depending on the severity of your MGD, your doctor may suggest other types of heat therapies or treatment.

Other Heat Therapies for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) heats the skin around the eye area and dislodges the oil build-up. This treatment targets the source directly – the blood vessels that surround the glands. Once this occurs, the glands can once again secrete the oils naturally, resuming their moisturizing effects.

LipiFlow

LipiFlow is a device that applies warm and gentle pressure directly to the meibomian glands, liquefying the blockage. Your eye doctor will then be able to remove the blockage from the area, flushing out any dead cells, leaving your glands clear and comfortable.

The Bruder Mask

The Bruder Mask is a heated compress that sits over your eyes, almost like a large, soft beauty mask. The mask is made up of many tiny beads which, when warmed, release heat. This heat gently opens the oil glands and helps restore the oil secretion back into the eyes.

Meibomian gland expression promotes healthy secretion of oil to the eyes’ surface and provides excellent long-term results. All successful meibomian gland expression treatments decrease dry eye symptoms by increasing the glands’ quality of oil production. Usually, a single session is sufficient, but many people benefit from regular treatments.

If not treated early and properly, meibomian gland dysfunction can cause severe damage to your eyes and vision. Contact our optometric team to learn more about meibomian gland expression and attain the dry eye relief you seek.

Our practice serves patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, and Sandia Heights, New Mexico and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 505-806-1432
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LipiFlow
Dry Eye Treatment

LipiFlow® is an advanced and effective treatment method that restores your eyes’ natural tear film.

Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 505-806-1432

Request A Dry Eye Appointment

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meibomian glands

How Does LipiFlow Work?


A single 12-minute session can offer significant relief to patients suffering from dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). For optimal results, we recommend you undergo treatment every 9 to 12 months.

Why are Tears So Important?


Tears are important function of healthy, comfortable eyes. When dust or small particles enter the eye, tears can form, which in turn clean the eye while keeping the eye moist. Therefore, when tears evaporate too rapidly and the eyes become dry, it can cause itchy eyes, irritation, and general discomfort.

Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 505-806-1432

Request A Dry Eye Appointment

eye care, why are tears so important

How Do You Assess Whether LipiFlow Is Right for Me?


At the Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses Dry Eye Center, we use a number of advanced tools to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome and formulate a custom treatment plan. Below are a few of the advanced diagnostic tools we use when assessing your Dry Eye Syndrome, which help us decide which treatment plan is best for you, and whether it should include LipiFlow.

LipiView

LipiView is a non-invasive 5-minute eye examination procedure that provides the doctor with an accurate digital picture of a patient’s tear film, including its lipid content and quality. This information helps the eye doctor decide whether the patient requires a LipiFlow procedure or needs to undergo other dry eye therapy treatments.

Dynamic Meibomian Imaging

Dynamic Meibomian Imaging (DMI) combines two innovative imaging technologies: adaptive transillumination and dynamic illumination. Each technology produces its own independent image of the meibomian glands. Both images are then processed, displayed, and combined to provide a more accurate and precise picture of the structure of the meibomian gland. These images allow the optometrist to detect any structural changes or blockages in the meibomian glands.

LipiScan

LipiScan is a non-invasive testing procedure which helps doctors better assess the health and structure of your meibomian glands. LipiScan generates a multidimensional view of the glands and plays a decisive role in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of DES and MGD.

Let’s Put an End to Your Dry Eyes

For more information about our LipiFlow treatment procedure and to find out whether it’s right for you, contact the Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses Dry Eye Center today. We will be happy to assess your condition and discuss your options. We provide caring and specialized Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction treatment to patients in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, Sandia Heights, and throughout New Mexico.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lipiflow

Does LipiFlow have any side effects?


While side effects are rare and minimal, patients may experience burning, stinging, redness, or inflammation. We’ll be happy to address this and any other questions prior to your treatment.

How Much Does LipiFlow Cost?


The cost of LipiFlow varies. It is therefore best to schedule a consultation with our office so that we can quote you the exact price.

Is LipiFlow Covered By Insurance?


Some insurance plans do cover a portion of the costs. However, most insurance plans do not yet cover the cost of LipiFlow. However, we provide our patients with affordable payment solutions and treatment schedules so that you get the relief you need.

How should I prepare for my LipiFlow appointment?


Make sure that you are not wearing contact lenses to the visit. Don’t use artificial tear drops, eyelid creams, or ointments 24 – 48 hours before the appointment, and be sure to remove all eye makeup before the treatment.

Is LipiFlow FDA approved?


Yes. LipiFlow is an FDA approved treatment for moderate to severe Dry Eye Syndrome caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.

Can I drive to a LipiFlow appointment?


Yes, you can drive to your LipiFlow appointment and right after it.

Our practice serves patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, and Sandia Heights, New Mexico and surrounding communities.
Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 505-806-1432
Read More About Dry Eyes
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What Treatments Can Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome?

SPEEDE284A2 Questionnaire.jpg

Dry Eye Questionnaire

Read Our Latest Posts
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