Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

Your dry eye disease may be related to a lack of naturally occurring oils in your tears. LipiFlow® addresses that problem. The eye care experts at Rocky Mountain Eye Center provide LipiFlow therapy at their locations in Missoula, Hamilton, and Butte, Montana. For effective and comprehensive dry eye treatment, schedule an appointment today. Call the office of your choice or book your visit online.

LipiFlow Q & A

What is Dry Eye Disease?

Along with helping you express yourself, tears provide necessary lubrication for your eyes and help reduce the risk of infection, wash away foreign matter, and keep the surface of your eyes smooth. Dry eye disease occurs when you don’t produce enough tears and/or your tears lack the necessary quality to keep your eyes moist and healthy.

The tear film covering the front of your eye contains three layers. The topmost layer consists of oil (lipids) that helps prevent evaporation of the watery middle layer, which rides over the mucin (mucus) layer that spreads tears evenly over your eye surface. When one or more of these tear components are inadequate, dry eye disease occurs.

When left untreated, dry eye disease causes inflammation and irritation on the surface of your eye. This can lead to stinging and burning discomfort, blurry vision, increased risk of eye infections, and other concerning eye health issues.  

What is LipiFlow?

LipiFlow is a dry eye treatment that’s designed to address problems in the top layer of your tears. The lipids necessary for this oily protective layer come from numerous tiny meibomian glands that line your upper and lower eyelids. When they’re functioning properly, these glands secrete appropriate amounts of oil with every blink.

Meibomian glands can become plugged, however, with hardened and sticky debris that limit their function. Blocked meibomian glands don’t produce enough oils to adequately coat your watery tear layer. This common component of dry eye disease causes your tears to evaporate too quickly.

LipiFlow is an FDA-approved device that uses gentle warmth on the inner lids and carefully controlled rhythmic pressure applied to your outer lids to liquefy and break up meibomian gland blockages, which restores lipid flow to your tears.

Rather than addressing your symptoms with drops or other temporary relief measures, LipiFlow treats one of the underlying causes of dry eye disease at its source.   

What Can I Expect During a LipiFlow Treatment?

LipiFlow treatments take about 12 minutes. After your eye doctor positions the LipiFlow devices, one for each eye, you lean back and rest while the system does its job. Most patients describe the sessions as relaxing, much like a gentle, therapeutic massage for your eyelids.

For effective treatment that relieves your dry eye symptoms and protects your eye health, schedule a visit at Rocky Mountain Eye Center, in Missoula, Montana, today.