Do you suffer from any of these Dry Eye Symptoms?
- Watery eyes
- Gritty sensation
- Scratchy feeling
Now your doctors of The Eye Care Institute, may have the answer for you. We have taken a leadership position in becoming one of the first in the region to offer LipiView II and LipiFlow to diagnose and treat Meibomian Gland Disease.
What is Meibomian Gland Disease?
The Meibomian Gland is a protective gland which produces oils helpful to eye health and the production of tears. When production from the Meibomian Gland slows or is blocked, oil production is reduced. This stoppage, or reduction, in gland production causes tear film to evaporate. Since the surface of the eye is not being protected due to tear film loss, discomfort (dry eye disease) occurs.
What Are Some Of the Reasons For An Increasing Incidence of Dry Eye Disease?
- Science is finding that increased use of phones, tablets and computers shows a direct correlation with blinking less often. When that happens, dry eye disease increases. So, yes, there is a medical reason to get your family members to stay off their cellphones.
- Another cause is Roaccutane, formerly known as Accutane; an acne medication used by over 16 million people. A study published in 2012 showed that over 14% of those Accutane users were treated by an eye doctor for dry eye disease symptoms within a year of starting the drug.
- Menopause is another condition which can cause dry eye symptoms.
- Ceiling fans as well as blowing air from air conditioners or furnaces also cause discomfort
Why is The Eye Care Institute offering this treatment?
John C. Meyer, MD said “science has finally caught up to the symptoms and conditions of dry eye disease.” He continued “Previously, our treatment options were limited to only one prescription eye drop, Restasis, over the counter tears and suggestions such as eye vitamins and using warm compresses. Finally, there is an instrument which can diagnose and treat Meibomian Gland Disease, which is the cause of over 86% of all dry eye disease.” I personally had the treatment and it works. My eyes are much more comfortable, continued Dr. Meyer.
How Much Will This Cost and How Many Visits are Required?
Patients wanting relief from Dry Eye Disease should schedule a Dry Eye Exam at The Eye Care Institute with their regular doctor. As this is a medical eye care visit, you will not receive a “refraction” for new glasses or contact lenses; your exam will be limited to your dry eye disease issues. Your medical insurance will be billed for the visit. You will be responsible for any co pays or unmet deductibles.
At this initial visit to check the health of your dry eyes, you will also have the LipiView II diagnostic test. This is a painless computerized test in which you sit in front of an instrument that takes pictures of your glands and other eye anatomy. Your doctor will review the results with you and explain the images. The LipiView II diagnostic test is not covered by insurance. Our charge for this is $40.
If you and your doctor decide LipiFlow is right for you, then you can either schedule another visit, or, if time allows, we can do the procedure in the office that day. LipiView is a heated, pulsating massage type treatment that is performed on both of your eyes at the same time. It’s like a ten-minute thermal spa treatment for your eyes. Many patients find this treatment relaxing and even enjoy it! LipiFlow treatment is not covered by insurance. Our charge for this is $1,000.
Daily use of eye vitamins, lubricating drops and wearing an eye mask are also recommended for the maximum result from LipiFlow treatment.
Why aren’t LipiView II and LipiFlow Covered By Insurance?
It is estimated that almost 40 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye Disease. While Dry Eye Disease is uncomfortable, it is not usually vision threatening, nor is it life threatening. Insurance companies would bear great cost if this diagnosis and treatment were suddenly covered. So, for now, insurance carriers are not covering LipiView II and LipiFlow. By way of comparison, it took almost 20 years for most insurance carriers to cover mammograms from the time that potentially life-saving diagnostic test became FDA approved.
Want to Learn Even More about LipiView II and LipiFlow?
Here is a link to additional patients resources from TearScience®, the manufacturer of LipiView II and LipiFlow: dryeyeandmgd.com.