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Question:
Does the Lipiflow treatment for dry eyes work?

Answer:
Sort of. Lipiflow is a thermal-mechanical device which milks the Meibomian glands to remove alleged blockage and prevents the exit of oils from these glands found in the lids. The oils found here slow evaporation of tears, which limits the sensations produced by dry eyes. There is some degree of effectiveness reported in clinical trials for users of this device. It is more thorough than conventional "milking" of these glands using cotton tip applicators. It does not work for very low tear flow patients such as those with Sjogren's disease and those experiencing post–bone marrow transplant eye dryness. The treatment costs in the range of $1,500 per application and is said to need repetition every 9-12 months. One might want to weigh this expense versus the cost and inconvenience of eyedrops before deciding to go ahead with this treatment.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Conditions, General Eye Health

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Answered: Dec 20, 2013

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