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New Technology: Lipiscan and Lipiflow

Irritation and dryness are frequent concerns we hear from our patients. They’re surprisingly common symptoms, but can have a number of different causes. Identifying the root of the problem is key, followed by treatment and continued monitoring to keep future flare ups and symptoms at bay.

As a brief background, the meibomian glands sit within your eyelids and produce oils which create a protective lipid layer on the surface of your eye. This layer keeps tears from evaporating too quickly and shields the eye from harsh irritants in the environment, as well as from the friction of your eyelids as you blink. When these glands malfunction, oil secretion can become blocked, causing that protective lipid layer to be thinned or damaged. This leaves the surface of your eye exposed to these irritants, creating an unpleasant dry, itchy, or burning sensation. In fact, meibomian gland dysfunction is the primary cause for dry eye in about 86% of dry eye patients.

In an effort to keep our practice equipped with the most up to date and safest technologies in the market, we’re adding a few new tools to the mix.

The Lipiscan is a screening technology that scans the meibomian glands and provides a high definition image used to determine and diagnose the health of these glands. The machine implements brand new technology: Using techniques called dynamic illumination, which uses multiple light sources to minimize reflection in the images, and adaptive transillumination, which adjusts light density across the surface of the eyelid to account for varying degrees of thickness across the eyelid or between individual patients, the machine provides us with clearer, more accurate images that we can use to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

For patients who are suffering from blockages in their meibomian glands, the Lipiflow is a new treatment option that’s both safer and more comfortable than current methods. This machine applies low levels of heat and pressure to the glands from the inside of the eyelid, flushing out blockages and allowing the glands to begin functioning normally again. This technology safely controls heat emissions, unlike chemical heat pack techniques, and applies pressure only to the eyelids, making it safer and more effective than methods which put pressure on the cornea and globe of the eye as well. We’re excited to have this machine in our office as a more effective solution to such a frustrating problem.