Dry Eye Syndrome is the most frequent reason patients visit their eye doctors. There are over 300 million worldwide who have been diagnosed with dry eye. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) affects 86% of all those with dry eye and it’s treatable. We work hard to provide the best diagnostic tools and options to treat your dry eye.Dry Eye Syndrome is the most frequent reason patients visit their eye doctors. Here at Updegraff Laser Vision, we have been serving the people of Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay for over 20 years with our state-of-the-art dry eye treatments. There are over 300 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with dry eye. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) affects 86 percent of all those with dry eye symptoms. MGD is the blockage and eventual loss, if not treated, of your Meibomian glands. MGD can cause several different dry eye symptoms including redness, burning, watering, itching and many more. Without effective treatment of your dry eye, symptoms and gland structure are likely to worsen over time. The worsening of gland structure can cause further discomfort, permanent loss of gland function, cell damage, and visual degradation. Our dry eye specialists work hard to provide the best diagnostic tools and dry eye treatment options to help the community of St. Pete and Tampa Bay.
Here at Updegraff Laser Vision, we have one of few LipiScan diagnostic tests in the Tampa Bay and Saint Petersburg area. The LipiScan is a high definition imaging device that allows us to evaluate the structure of your Meibomian glands. This helps our dry eye specialists to see if MGD is causing your dry eye symptoms. Structural compromise, which is otherwise invisible, can be identified and documented with these images. Meibomian gland structural compromise is irreversible and progressive. As your gland structure worsens, so do your dry eye symptoms. We provide the LipiScan imaging for any patient with dry eye to better understand what is causing the symptoms they are experiencing. For more information, click here.
Updegraff Laser Vision is one of the few practices in the Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay area that performs the LipiFlow treatment. LipiFlow is the only FDA approved device for removing gland blockages and restoring gland function. Through advances in the application of thermal pulsation technology, LipiFlow utilizes heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage applied to the outer eyelids to remove the obstructions in your Meibomian glands. MGD is a chronic dry eye disease and unfortunately, no known treatment is completely permanent. The goal of LipiFlow is to clear out your blocked oil glands, restore the natural flow of oily lipids and prevent further damage to the glands. This, in turn, should alleviate your dry eye symptoms. Sustained dry eye relief from LipiFlow is a function of numerous factors including how long you have had the disease, general health, and whether you follow the post-treatment regimen we give you. Typically, LipiFlow provides significant relief from your dry eye symptoms for 18 to 24 months. In a recent clinical study, 79 percent of patients reported improved overall dry eye symptoms within a few weeks of a single treatment. Our dry eye counselors and specialists work diligently to provide information and treatment for the people of Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or would like to book a consultation with a dry eye specialist. For more information from the manufacturer, click here.
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The Dry Eye Relief Mask (D.E.R.M.) is a moist-heat/cold compress mask made from silica beads intended to help relieve dry eye discomfort. Heating the mask in a microwave for 20 seconds allows up to 7-9 minutes of moist-heat. You can also freeze the mask for a cold compress.The Dry Eye Relief Mask (D.E.R.M.) is a moist-heat/cold compress mask made from silica beads intended to help relieve dry eye discomfort. Heating the mask in a microwave for 20 seconds allows up to 7-9 minutes of moist-heat. You can also freeze the mask for a cold compress. We recommend the use of the Dry Eye Relief Mask to all of our dry eye patients. It is the most effective way for our dry eye patients to do a warm compress with even and consistent heat the whole time. Most patients use this mask every morning and evening to help keep their oil glands functioning properly. Warm compresses are important both before, and after a LipiFlow procedure, to help reduce dry eye symptoms. You can pick up a D.E.R.M. any time at the front desk of our Saint Petersburg office.
Here at Updegraff Laser Vision, we believe in providing every aspect of dry eye treatment to the community of Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay. HydroEye is a patented, oral, nutritional formulation that works from the inside out to provide continuous support for dry eyes. HydroEye, the focus of new research, delivers a proprietary blend of omega fatty acids (GLA, EPA and DHA), antioxidants and other key nutrients that work together to support a healthy tear film and soothe the ocular surface, which is all meant to help relieve dry eye symptoms. You can pick up HydroEye any time at the front desk of our Saint Petersburg office. You can also go to www.sbh.com to order HydroEye online. For more information, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is dry eye a common problem?
Dry eye affects as many as 100 million people throughout the world. It is estimated that 40 million people in the United States suffer from mild to severe dry eye.
What is MGD?
MGD stands for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. MGD occurs when there is compromise to the function and/or structure of the Meibomian glands in the eyelids that produce the protective oily layer of the tear film. Without these oils, our eyes become more susceptible to the negative effects of our environment. MGD affects 86% of all those with dry eye.
What can I do to treat my MGD?
There are many different options for dry eye treatment. The basic “trifecta” that we suggest is artificial tears, warm compresses, and dry eye supplements. However, LipiFlow is the only FDA approved treatment that actually clears the blocked oil in Meibomian glands.
What can I do if my dry eye symptoms are not caused by MGD?
If you have been evaluated for MGD, and it is not causing your dry eye symptoms, there are many options you can still pursue. The best option for you can be decided in your dry eye consult. However, some of the most popular options are punctal plugs or dry eye medications.
What will happen if I ignore this problem?
Without effective treatment, symptoms are likely to worsen. These symptoms may include further discomfort, permanent loss of gland function, cell damage, and visual degradation. What begins as minor alterations to the tear film can turn into long-term pain and injury.
Will LipiFlow provide permanent relief?
MGD is a chronic disease and no known treatment is completely permanent. Sustained relief from LipiFlow is a function of numerous factors including how long you have had the disease, general health, and whether you follow the post-treatment regimen. Typically, LipiFlow provides significant relief for 18 to 24 months.
What is the goal of the LipiFlow treatment?
The goal is to clear out your glands, restore the nature flow of oily lipids and prevent further damage to the glands.
What happens during the LipiFlow treatment?
We will numb your eyes, and then the doctor will place the single-use LipiFlow activators on your eyelids. The activators will apply mild heat and gentle pressure during the treatment. You will have the activators on your eyes for 12 minutes, and we will be staying with you the whole time.
Is the treatment painful?
No. You will feel heat and pressure on your eyelids, but the average discomfort score on a scale of 1-10 during a clinical trial was 1.4. Many people even say that it is relaxing.
How long does the treatment take?
You should prepare to be in the office for up to an hour. However, the treatment itself is only 12 minutes per eye, and both eyes are typically done at the same time.
Will my eyes feel better right away?
Your eyes will feel extremely lubricated right after the treatment. However, this will go away within the next few hours. Because the LipiFlow completely cleans out your oil ducts, it takes a few days for your body to start producing new oil. You will be prescribed drops to help minimize this.
How long does it take to see results from the LipiFlow procedure?
Most patients report symptom relief within 2-3 weeks, and gland secretions typically improve within 4 weeks. However, patients who have has this chronic disease for longer periods of time report that it can take a few months before they start to notice a difference.
Does LipiFlow actually work?
In a recent clinical study, 79% of patients reported improved overall dry eye symptoms within weeks of a single treatment.
What is included in the LipiFlow fee?
The fee includes the LipiFlow treatment, a post-treatment starter kit, and a post-treatment appointment 6-8 weeks after you receive the LipiFlow treatment.
Can I continue my normal day after the treatment?
Yes, you should be able to continue your day after your treatment. We only ask that you avoid swimming and any environmental elements for 1-2 weeks after treatment.