What Is LipiView? How Can It Help Determine Dry Eye Treatment?
If you are dealing with dry eyes, you know how uncomfortable it can be! When eye drops and medications do not seem to do the trick, your doctor may suggest that you look into LipiView as a treatment for your issue. Now, what is LipiView, exactly? LipiView is part of a treatment system for meibomian gland dysfunction.
Read on to learn more about LipiView and how it can help you!
What Is LipiView?
First things first, you will need to understand what LipiView is in order to determine whether this is a viable option– and a good fit– for you. It is part of a treatment method for an eye issue called meibomian gland dysfunction, and the method was designed by TearScience. LipiView is the diagnostic part of the system. Therefore, it is a device that determines the health of your eyes and the extent of the meibomian gland dysfunction that you are dealing with. It gives your eye doctor a better view of your eyes’ film production, which helps to determine the level of your dry eyes.
Once your eye doctor is able to reach a conclusion regarding the state of your dry eyes, a treatment plan can be designed! LipiView itself will not cure your dry eyes, as it is only the tool that helps give eye doctors a clear picture of the problem.
How Does LipiView Work?
Now that you know what LipiView is, we will explain in greater detail how the device works. It is a non invasive device that can give an accurate picture of your eye’s tear film. In addition, it can be used to measure the lipid content and quality. The procedure that is involved is quick, and is done in the office of your eye doctor.
During this process, you will be asked to look directly into a light camera and blink normally. While you are doing this, a computer aided program will measure the lipid content and quality of the eye. From there, your eye doctor will be able to decide whether or not the LipiView and LipiFlow treatment plan is right for you, based on the data that they collect from the diagnostic procedure.
If you are suffering from meibomian gland dysfunction, then you would be a good fit for this treatment. If your eye doctor determines that your dry eyes stem from another issue, however, you will likely be prescribed a different treatment plan.
What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian gland dysfunction is referred to as MGD for short. This term is one that is used to describe congenital and acquired disorders that are categorized by dysfunctions of the meibomian glands. MGD can lead to issues such as altered tear film composition, ocular an eyelid discomfort, ocular surface disease, and evaporative dry eye. It is usually classified by the rate of gland secretion– low delivery states are referred to as meibomian gland hyposecretion or obstruction, while high delivery rates are referred to as meibomian gland hypersecretion. Typically, gland obstruction, which is causing MGD, is most common.
Aging and environmental stress can be big causes of MGD and duct obstruction. The meibomian gland is one that secretes meibum, which is made up of polar and nonpolar lipids. Medium is then delivered to the surface of the eye, where it coats the aqueous layer and both provides tear film stability and protects the eye from organic matter and microbial agents. When the eye is not creating enough meibum or there are blockages, the eye is exposed to irritants and can also be prone to symptoms such as dry eye. Other symptoms of MGD are very similar to dry eye disease (burning, irritation, grittiness, foreign body sensation, itchiness, fluctuating vision, etc.)
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
If you are suffering from dry eyes, it does not necessarily mean that you have meibomian gland dysfunction. There are other eye issues that can exhibit these symptoms as well. This is why it is so important that you go through the LipiView diagnostic procedure if your eye doctor suggests it– so that you can determine the root cause of your dry eyes. Some of the symptoms of dry eyes can be redness, itching, and swollen eyes. Of course, discomfort and dryness are surefire signs of dry eyes as well.
Dry eye is a very common condition that is characterised by a disturbance of the tear film. It causes a variety of symptoms and signs that often interfere with quality of life. To keep the eyes comfortable and provide optimal vision, a thin, healthy film of tears coats the surface of the eye. This tear film is made up of three layers:
Lipid (oily) layer
Aqueous (watery) layer
Mucus (sticky) layer
In a healthy tear film, these three layers work together to protect and lubricate the eye. The most superficial (top) layer is a very thin layer of lipids (fats and oils). These lipids are produced by the meibomian glands – a row of specialised oil glands along the edge of each eyelid.
The main function of this lipid layer is to prevent or decrease evaporation of the aqueous (watery) tear layer beneath. If the meibomian glands do not function properly, this leads to evaporative dry eye – where the watery tear layer has no protection from evaporating.
More specifically, symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction can be very similar to those of dry eyes. When the glands begin to become blocked, your eyes will become sore and swollen. They can also begin to feel gritty and itchy as they start to dry out– as if you have a grain of dust or sand in your eye. Eyelid inflammation, or blepharitis, can be another symptom seen in those who are suffering from meibomian gland dysfunction. Some may even notice an uneven inner rim of the eyelid.
If you think you are affected by blocked glands and dry eyes and would like to speak to us about a LipiView exam and what LipiFlow dry eye treatment can do you for, please contact us for a consultation.
Or you can go directly to our bookings page
Frequently Asked Questions
What is LipiView?
LipiView is part of a treatment system for meibomian gland dysfunction, which was developed by TearScience. LipiView is the diagnostic part of the treatment system, so it is used to determine the extent of MGD. Then, the treatment part of the system is implemented. It is a non invasive device that can give an accurate picture of your eye’s tear film lipid layer.
What is LipiView and LipiFlow?
LipiView and LipiFlow are two halves of a whole. They work together to diagnose and then treat meibomian gland dysfunction– a LipiView exam is the part of the system that diagnoses MGD, and then LipiFLow is the device that is used to treat the issue.
Is LipiFlow worth the cost?
Whether or not LipiFlow is worth the cost is going to depend on your situation. Generally, yes, LipiFlow is worth the cost, because it can help to deal with meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye relief. If you are struggling with dry eyes, and eye drops and medication are not seeming to help, LipiFlow is certainly worth the money.
We recommend talking with your eye doctor to see if a LipiView exam and LipiFlow dry eye treatment is the right treatment for you.