American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Meeting
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Meeting
April 22, 2012
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Thermal pulsation offers novel option for treating dry eye

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CHICAGO – A heat treatment used on the upper and lower eyelids may offer relief to patients with meibomian gland dysfunction and evaporative dry eye, a presenter here suggested.

The LipiFlow (TearScience) system is a 12-minute office procedure approved for use in Canada. According to Sheldon Herzig, MD, the device may replace warm compresses, which tend to be ineffective because heat has to transfer through skin, muscle and insulating tarsal plate.

“[LipiFlow] has been very effective in treating our dry eye patients, with about 80% achieving some relief. There is symptomatic improvement, which corresponds with objective testing, and we have been able to dramatically improve quality of life in patients that have had dry eye symptoms for many years,” he said at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting.

Dr. Herzig’s analysis consisted of 162 eyes of 81 patients who were examined at 1 month and 3 months. Mean age was 51.3 years. Roughly 80% showed an improvement in meibomian gland function score, and approximately 76% demonstrated improved SPEED questionnaire scores, which reflect frequency and severity of symptoms.

Moreover, about 70% of patients had improvement in tear break-up time, and only about 2% experienced mild irritation.

Disclosure: Dr. Herzig has no relevant financial disclosures.