Tear film layers and MGD
MGD occurs when there is a compromise to the function and/or structure of the Meibomian glands. These glands, located in the eyelids, produce the protective oily (lipid) layer of the tear film. This oil helps protect the surface of the eye from disease and prevents the watery part of the tears from evaporating when your eyes are open. Without these oils, the eyes become more susceptible to the negative effects that dry climates, air conditioning, computer use, reading and other daily activities can have on the long-term health of our eyes. When these glands are blocked, tears don’t stay in the eye. They drip or evaporate, causing burning, tearing, grittiness, and possibly corneal damage over time.
Treating MGD with LipiFlow®
LipiFlow® is a treatment performed in your doctor’s office designed to remove blockages from the Meibomian glands, allowing them to properly function and produce the oils that make up the top protective lipid layer of the tear film. LipiFlow® is supported by more than 30 patents with studies demonstrating its safe and effective results. It is designed to minimize patient discomfort during a 12-minute treatment that gently warms and massages the eyelids. OIl blockages are removed and the glands are gently massaged, allowing for free-flowing oil to the tear film layer.
LipiFlow® Activators are single-use sterile devices that safely and comfortably deliver a combination of heat to the inner lids and simultaneous therapeutic motion to the outer lids, removing blockages from the Meibomian glands. The Activators are contoured to avoid contact with the cornea, protecting the delicate structures of the eye.
Once the gland blockages are removed, the glands can resume normal oil or lipid production. This oil is essential for a healthy tear film, providing stable vision and ocular comfort. As normal gland function recovers, maximum results are usually experienced 6-8 weeks after treatment. After treatment, we strongly suggest lid hygiene wipes, DERM mask use, Omega-3 supplements, and blinking exercises to keep your glands free and clear for the longest time possible.