Schaeffer Eye Center introduces breakthrough treatment for evapo - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Schaeffer Eye Center introduces breakthrough treatment for evaporative dry eye disease

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Schaeffer Eye Center just announced a major breakthrough for evaporative dry eye disease.

The company recently announced it's the first in the state of Alabama to introduce a new treatment for patients who suffer from the disease.

"This disease stems from a deficiency in the oily lipid layer of the eye's natural tear film," according to a news release. "The oily lipids serve as a protective layer so that the aqueous (water) layer of the eye's tear film does not evaporate. Schaeffer Eye Center has introduced a new, advanced in-office treatment, called LipiFlow®, which is intended to treat patients with blocked meibomian glands, called meibomian gland dysfunction, by unblocking the glands and allowing them to resume the secretion of oily lipids needed for a healthy tear film."

Experts say more than 100 million people are affected by dry eye disease, while 65% out of that number suffer from evaporative dry eye.

Symptoms include dryness, grittiness, soreness, irritation, burning and eye fatigue.

"These symptoms can hinder people's daily activities such as reading, using the computer, wearing contact lenses and being outdoors on windy days," according to Schaeffer Eye Center. "Many dry eye patients complain those symptoms worsen throughout the day.

"Dry eye disease is one of the most common topics patients discuss when visiting eye care professionals," said Dr. Jack L. Schaeffer, President & Chief Medical Optometrist at Schaeffer Eye Center. "We are very pleased to introduce the new LipiFlow treatment to help those patients who are frustrated with this chronic disease and all of the ways it negatively impacts their lives. In effect, LipiFlow helps the meibomian glands resume their natural function and many patients note symptom relief."

"Historically, common therapies aimed at dry eye symptom relief included using warm compresses, over-the-counter wetting drops and ointments, and prescription drugs. Alternatively, the new LipiFlow treatment addresses the root cause of evaporative dry eye by unblocking the meibomian glands that secrete oily lipids. In controlled clinical studies of patients who received a single LipiFlow treatment, the average meibomian gland score at 4 weeks increased by two to three times over the baseline condition, which reflects improvement in the number of glands secreting and secretion quality. Additionally, at four weeks after the LipiFlow treatment, 79% of patients reported improvement in dry eye symptoms."

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