Innovative treatments for the ocular surface

June 1, 2012

Novel options now available should help with patient comfort

Treatment of ocular surface inflammation and dryness by warming the lids and applying gentle massage has been prescribed for years with variable results. Even when the technique is applied correctly and patients are actually able to devote enough time to it, some patients gain little more than temporary relief.

Easing the treatment regime

Development of this device coincides with a paradigm shift in treatment focus to meibomian gland obstruction and dysfunction as a key, limiting step leading to compromise of the ocular surface in the majority of cases of dysfunctional tear syndrome (DTS). Just as with any other new device, we approach implementation of these devices carefully and after they've been supported by clinical data demonstrating efficacy and safety.

In the journal Cornea,1 Steve Lane and colleagues compared LipiFlow to iHeat warm compress systems in a crossover, multicentre clinical trial in one hundred and thirtynine patients. At two weeks of treatment, the iHeat arm (n = 70) crossed over to LipiFlow (n = 69) treatment. After studying meibomian gland (MG) assessment, tear break up time (TBUT), and dry eye symptoms, LipiFlow treatment demonstrated statistically significant superiority at 2 and 4 weeks. Moreover, the crossover group showed a significant improvement two weeks post treatment with LipiFlow.