Dry eye is a chronic eye disease that is caused by a deficiency in the make up of your tears. You can have tears that do not have enough water, oil or both. If you want to read more about the different types of dry eyes, read our previous blog here.
The most common type of dry eye is evaporative dry eye. Evaporative dry eye means that the tears do not have enough oil. Evaporative dry eye is commonly caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
MGD is a condition where the glands that keep your tear film oily become blocked. This blockage causes your tears to evaporate more easily and dries your eyes out more quickly. It is a chronic condition and will worsen over time if it’s not treated properly.
Patients with MGD will experience symptoms such as irritation, grittiness and a burning sensation. There are many services offered by dry eye doctors to help treat MGD. One proven treatment for MGD is the iLUX® MGD treatment system. Let’s go over more details about this treatment.
iLUX® is a handheld device that is designed to heat and apply gentle pressure on the eyelids to open up blocked meibomian glands (the oil glands).. This makes it easier for the glands to naturally release their oil which is so important for a good quality tear film
The device has a specially designed eyelid smart tip that gently delivers treatment directly to the blocked glands while protecting the surface of the eye. Your dry eye doctor has complete control with iLUX® and administers the therapeutic effect.
The treatment takes approximately 8-12 minutes for both eyes. First your dry eye doctor will assess your eyelids to determine the treatment zones. Next, your eyelid will be held between the soft biocompatible pads of the iLUX® device. Then the therapeutic light-based heat will begin to warm the blocked glands to a safe temperature to soften and release the oil.
As the oil melts, your doctor has the ability to apply additional heat or pressure depending on your needs. With gentle pressure and heat, the oil will be expressed from the glands and the treatment is complete.
If you want to see what to expect for your iLUX® treatment, you can watch this video to learn more about how your dry eye doctor will use it.
Video on iLUX®
The iLUX® device has been shown to significantly reduce dry eye symptoms such as gritty eyes and irritation. With healthy oil being released, it can now protect the tears from drying up or evaporating.
In a clinical study, patients’ meibomian gland scores were three times better two weeks post-treatment and four times better at four weeks compared to baseline.
If you have been suffering from dry eyes and feel like you want to take the next step in your eye care, contact your nearest MyDryEye doctor to see if they offer the iLUX® treatment.