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How long does probing last?

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  • #16
    I have been trying to get a hold of the clinic I was referred to but I keep getting put on hold forever! Where did you have yours done? I am probably not gonna my to do IPL just because it's not done a lot in Canada. I had lipiflow done and it didn't do anything! It was about $1400.00. The probing here is only 200.00 an eye which is fine.

    what else had you tried before probing? Do you still need tears during the day?



    • #17
      So I got my appointment date for the MGD probing which will be September 6th. I feel like I am already getting my hopes up about the results. I know it is only a "band aid" fix as it doesn't really address the underlying cause but I am hoping it will at least help. They also told me they will do tests not covered by OHIP which I am curious about, I will feel better hopefully getting more answers. If anyone has any experiences to share I would appreciate it.


      • #18
        Faith, am glad you got your probing appointment, seems you've tried almost everything else. I hope it gives you some relief.

        Will you be traveling alone or with someone? After one of the procedures, my eyes were really sore, so my husband had to help me get around, however it was just that one time. After the other four procedures I was fine, I even went to lunch after a couple of them, no problem. Just wanted you to be aware about that.

        They usually put something on topically to numb the lids, but they might also ask whether you want numbing shots. I've had it both ways. I think the numbing shots are just as uncomfortable as the probing, although it does make the probing a little less uncomfortable. What I also didn't like about the shots is you have bruises around the eyes for several days, like someone punched you in the face. So something to think about, if given a choice.

        Often if you have blockage and the probe is getting through, you will feel a little "pop" each time a gland is unblocked. So that's a good sign, however if your oils are non-existent, sparse, of poor quality, or thick, you might not feel any benefit.

        Some people's eyes immediately feel better after the procedure, and for some it can take a few days or weeks for their glands to start functioning, after being unblocked. So don't be disappointed if it does not immediately work.


        • #19
          Thank you for your kind words. I will be going with my husband to the appointment. Weirdly I'm not nervous about the pain, as it can't be worse than my flare ups. I am worried about getting no results which I know is possible. I am also worried he may not think I need the probing or I'm not a candidate. I am paying for the procedure so he will likely do it anyway. Not all my glands are capped as when I'm not flaring, they will express oil which is clear but maybe a little thick. The appointment is in one month today.

          You are right, I have literally tried everything. Steroids, doxy, Restasis, serum tears, lipiflow, sclerals, every tear out there, strict dieting, naturopath, antibiotic ointments, every lid product. This has probably costed thousands over the last six years! I'd say 10 grand at least with the travel costs.

          Im so happy you feel better. And again thank you for telling me your experience.


          • #20
            Good your husband is going with you.

            When I went the first time I had to fly an hour to get there, and also worried the doctor might not think I was a candidate. So in advance, I faxed a letter addressed to him that I was flying and going to him specifically to try probing because it was one of my last resorts, listed my diagnosis and severity of my condition, all past treatments and regimens I tried that didn't work, my current regimen, contact information for my current eye doctors, and asked for his confirmation he could do the procedure right after the consult, unless there was some danger identified during the consult not to. I called back the next day, and his office staff confirmed he read the letter, understood my situation, and agreed. They reserved two and a half hours for my consult+probing.

            During the consult, he had a copy of my letter and referred to it several times, so it definitely helped to summarize everything he needed to know about my history and situation in two pages. After the consult and a few pictures and tests, he was not sure probing would help, but still agreed to do it. And even though it took four more probing procedures combined with the right diet changes, I may not be better now if he didn't agree to do that initial probe.

            Yes, I'm glad I can manage my symptoms now, but will feel even better once you and others in this forum get some relief too. Fingers crossed probing will provide some relief for you.


            • #21
              The office (which is also an hour or so flight for me) has agreed to do the probing after the consult. Normally they don't do both eyes in one day due to discomfort but told me they would make an exception. I will write a list also of what I have tried and how much they did/didn't work for him also (great tip). I am thankful to live in a country with good resources.

              Do you think it's a good idea to lay off the doxy/lotemax a few weeks before the appointment so he can see kind of how my eyes are without the antibiotics? I am doing this so hopefully I can use less doxy/steroids to work full time and live my life. I have some capped glands (4 that I can see) filled with "white" that I cannot get open with heat.

              To to be honest, I didn't think I could ever get probed because I thought it was only done in the US and for a Canadian with no American coverage it was just crazy. I looked into maskin and although I make decent money with the exchange rate I could never afford that!!!

              I am going to hopefully keep going back for treatments every year or sooner if needed. I can't imagine being able to enjoy a night out or a whole month without flares.


              • #22
                If the doxy/lotemax are helping your glands generate some oil and eyes be a little better overall now, would think you'd want to continue it up to the procedure, so your glands have the best chance of working right after probing. But good question, best to call them to ask.

                Some probe doctors inject steroids into the glands (I think to help stimulate them) as part of the probe procedure, and/or prescribe steroid or antibiotic eye drops/ointment to use for several days after. So make sure to ask him at the consult what parts of your regime you should discontinue temporarily or indefinitely after probing, including any RX or OTC meds or drops you're using, and also things like lid scrubs and warm compresses.

                Yes, am glad you are able to try probing in Canada now, for a relatively reasonable price. Seems it's slowly becoming available in some counties now...the concern is, like anything, you want a doctor with enough experience and expertise to perform it.


                • #23
                  Where did you have your probing done?


                  • #24
                    First two times in Hawaii while visiting family, last three times in Fountain Valley, California. The California doctor was more experienced and had an operating room-quality magnifier, which she said makes the glands look huge so is helpful when poking the probes into the tiny glands. I think both those doctors are a bit far for you, but am happy to give you their names, if you want them.


                    • #25
                      No that's okay. A little too far from Ontario! I hope the doctor I am seeing is good with probing. He is a eye surgeon so I'm assuming he's going to do a decent job? lol do you still have to use tears or any RX drops?


                      • #26
                        Hi Hokucat,
                        Why your dr thought probing would not help you in the first place?

                        Strangely enough, I have high % of gland loss yet the dr said I dont have scar tissue.
                        (finally one dr examined my upper glands)
                        Well, 3 doctors confirmed I dont need probing but compress, massage, lid scrub to thin the oil.
                        Finally one dr gave me doxy 100mg/day recently but I have NOT used it - it would be only my last resort.
                        I have added omeg 3 by taking (bio, cold pressed) flaxseed oil.
                        which I tried for 2 days, seems it works but I tried a few new things too
                        (my eyes are super good today - just used ne drop, systance balance)
                        although my omeg 3 & 6 are almost double than normal, according to blood tests.
                        Last edited by MGD1701; 07-Aug-2017, 19:14.


                        • #27
                          Hi Faith,

                          Well if you ever come for a vacation in sunny California or Hawaii, you can book a probing appointment as an excusion while here :-)

                          Do you know the amount of experience your doctor has with probing, like how many of these procedures he has performed? When I was looking for probe doctors, that was one of the questions I asked.

                          No, I no longer use artificial tears, except I put a couple drops in my sclerals in the morning with the saline before inserting them. The only rx drops I use is for a different unrelated eye condition, but not for dry eyes. I attribute not using drops anymore to first unblocking my glands with probing, then getting my oils and tears flowing with diet changes including the lemon/green tea, and addressing remaining dryness from some gland loss/atrophy and encouraging a healthy ocular surface with sclerals.

                          Hi MGD1701,

                          The doctor was not sure probing would help because he said my glands were not inflamed, nor did he see scar tissue or capping on top of my glands. He could also see I had some gland loss, and commented all the openings of my other glands were really tiny compared to most people's, he did not know if they were still functioning and if he could even get the probes in. When he pressed on several glands, only a few had a little thick Crisco-like oil come out, otherwise nothing. He could see I was really struggling to even keep my eyes open and had a lot of empathy, and knew I had tried everything else, so it came down to him asking me if I still wanted to give it a try, knowing it might not work.

                          Doxy can take awhile to work, but that's good if your eyes feel a bit better after just a few days. Given the lid scrub you use and that face wash that addresses bacteria you discovered seems to help your glands, targeting bacteria and inflammation with doxy makes sense.


                          • #28
                            Hi Hokucat
                            Thanks for sharing. That is interesting to know. You are lucky to find such dr.

                            Doxy: I have NOT taken it yet although dr finally gave me. I will only use it as a last resort.
                            Seems there is NO studies support its efficiency?? I dont like medication - all have side effect.
                            Last edited by MGD1701; 07-Aug-2017, 19:20.


                            • #29
                              Doxy has always helped me, especially if taken at a higher dose of 100mg a day. I also don't like taking them but it's either that or be in more pain. Today my left eye wasn't secreting much oil at all or just the "crisco like secretions" which always causes more inflammation.

                              If your in pain, I would take the doxy. Even just to see if it's worth it for you. Don't mean to sound pushy lol just my experience


                              • #30
                                Thanks Faith for the sharing and sorry for the pain.

                                I have not suffered any pain for 5 months now, after LipiFlow + trying this and that.
                                Dr gave me doxy 100mg/day for 7 weeks - only for thinning the oil as
                                I dont have inflammation issue.

                                Crisco like Secretion: can you see oil? How?
                                Can you feel oil when you do compress? I can, in 3 min toward the end when I do Blephasteam/42.5C.
                                My dr said my oil is still thick while (10 day ago) another dr said I dont even need to do compress.

                                Well, my own treament plan to thin the oil, based on my research, are:
                                1) increase (bio and cold pressed) flaxseed oil
                                although my omeg 3 & 6 values are almost double than normal

                                2) massage a bit harder (a bit like Mibo treatment) and more compress to x3/day (from x2)
                                I have tried 2 days, even only need 1 drop and none for 2 days.

                                What helped me most seem to be effective/safe lid cleaner, Avenova alternative, with pure HOCI.
                                after using it just in 1.5 days, I have almost no more waterying, discharges for nearly 3 weeks now..
                                It is particulary good for bacteria/inflammation. I highly recomend to give it a try! But do a bit of research first.

                                Good luck with your probing.
                                Last edited by MGD1701; 09-Aug-2017, 15:44.