The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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Lipiflow in Australia

After years of hearing nothing but misery from dry eye patients down under who cannot locate any even remotely well equipped dry eye treatment, we're starting to see many more signs of hope that things are improving. One I was reminded of this week is Malcolm McKellar (see his comments on this blog post about use of allogeneic serum in NZ) and now a friend sent me a link to a dr's blog in Sydney where they're starting to use Lipiflow and in the process, it seems, are discovering a whole new world - what dry eye looks like for the severe and desperate cases:

On Tuesday this week we installed the first meibomian gland dysfunction treatment device called LipiFlow.  What was amazing was the first three patients that had booked in, had found us off the internet.  They all had been desperately seeking a solution to their constant discomfort.
Uh huh.

One patient was from New Zealand, one from Melbourne and one from Sydney.  This certainly surprised us - why would people travel so far to have an innovative procedure done, so early in the release of this new procedure?
Nothing surprising about it to you and me, for sure (sigh). 
Obviously because they perceived that their symptoms warranted more help.
To be suitable for the LipiFlow procedure involves a significant process....

Now we wait.  Most people that have been interviewed from overseas seems to suggest that significant improvement in symptoms occur after a week or two.  This is also a little confusing.  If the problem is immediately fixed and this can be seen immediately after the procedure is done. The meibomian glands definitely start to secrete more meibomian oil.  Then why does it take a few weeks to perceive less irritation?

We assume that the corneal surface as well as the eyelids are still inflamed and tender.  With the extra oil bathing the eyes, they are no longer being irritated hence will take time to settle down from their extra sensitive state.  Whether this is true is purely hypothetical at this stage....
  
As we start to see more and more people seeking LipiFlow treatment for their dry eyes we will keep you up to date on what are the obvious and not so obvious trends.  What is for sure is that this is a fascinating topic, especially now that we finally have a treatment for what has been a most frustrating problem for patient and practitioner alike.
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