3 Common Questions on Lipiflow Pulsating Thermal Lid Massage
Lipiflow Pulsating Thermal Lid Massage
Ophthalmologist Cynthia Matossian, MD, FACS, just wrote a great article about the top 3 questions she receives regarding Lipiflow pulsating thermal lid massage and I also see these questions a lot in our community.
1. Why should I spend money on this Lipiflow dry eye treatment when my eyes feel fine?
Many patients do not notice any symptoms in their eyes. While you may be fortunate so far not to feel discomfort or pain, this is a progressive disease that will get worse over time. When it gets bad enough to “tip the scales” and make you symptomatic, it will be harder to fix and take longer to achieve relief.
Think of these little glands as being plugged up but not truly damaged yet. We need to unplug them and get the healthy oils flowing into your tears again. This will help you maintain lid health for the long term as well as give you a stable tear film to support good vision.
Not necessarily. Many patients do notice relief of their symptoms, but the difference can be more subtle in others. Think of it as being similar to the dental hygienist cleaning that patients should have every six months. We all do that because it helps prevent gum disease and cavities, but your teeth probably don’t feel any different the week after you visit the dentist.
3. Can I stop using my eye drops?
Patients often find that they don’t need to use over-the-counter artificial tears as often after a thermal pulsation treatment, and it’s nice not to be concerned about that.
However, I do want you to continue to use your prescription (Restasis, Xiidra, Cequa) drops because it is still important to address underlying inflammation on the surface of the eye at the same time that the glands in the lids are treated. And, if you can keep using your heated eye mask a few times a week, I find that makes the treatment last longer
The most important thing is to be honest with patients about what thermal pulsation therapy can and can’t do. It is a critical part of treating their meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), but it isn’t a magic solution that will “cure” their problems overnight.
Our Thoughts on Her Comments:
I loved what Dr. Matossian had to say about pulsating thermal lid massage (Lipiflow). Although you may not notice anything after a Lipiflow procedure, it is still doing something to help you.
Additionally, if you don't have symptoms of dry eyes, but your doctor notices you might benefit from Lipiflow, you should still consider having it done.
Her final point is that you should not solely rely on Lipiflow to heal your dry eyes and I 100% agree with this point. Inflammation is at the root of your meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eyes, and that needs to be addressed FIRST and foremost.
We recommend you work with your doctor to determine what is best for you, but we recommend having Lipiflow at least yearly and sometimes two or more times per year if you have been diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eyes, or blepharitis.
Finally, you should take control of the inflammation in your body. This can be done multiple ways but the best way is to take control of your diet and switch to an organic, plant-based diet that will help reduce the inflammation in your body. Your life literally depends on it! We discuss that and more in our book, Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment, which you can get for free by clicking here.