Dry eye disease, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a chronic and progressive disease affecting more than 100 million people worldwide. Common symptoms of dry eye include dryness, soreness, eye fatigue, grittiness, watering, and sensitivity to light. Over 80% of chronic dry eye disease is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Meibomian glands are in your eyelids and secrete meibum, or oils, that create a protective film over your tears. Patients with MGD do not properly produce enough meibum, breaking down the protective tear film and allowing for tears to evaporate. As the affected glands become increasingly inflamed, the normally oily secretions become thick like butter, restricting gland secretion. In many patients, glands affected by MGD can atrophy, leading to gland death. It is important to identify and treat this disease early.
Healthy Meibomian gland
Blocked gland with thickened secretions
Treatments for MGD and Dry eye have trended towards office-based procedures that enhance function of the Meibomian glands. The newest dry eye treatment technology, iLux, is a handheld device that uses light source heating and compression intended to help your Meibomian glands express oils to protect your tears. iLux is the only handheld FDA approved treatment for MGD uniquely designed to customize treatments for each patient. Patients describe the treatment as a “warm eye massage”. The iLux targeted treatment lasts only about 8 minutes, and typically eases patient’s symptoms for up to 6-8 months.
Is iLux Right for you? Your eye care professional will perform a series of diagnostic tests to evaluate your gland health and performance of gland secretions. You may be asked to complete a short questionnaire, undergo a simple slit lamp test, and capture images of your glands with specific Meibomian imaging technology.