Say “So Long” to Symptoms

Revolutionary therapy defeats dry eye.

After years of compensating for her increasingly blurry eyesight, Diana* finally accepted the need for cataract surgery early in 2018. At the same time, the New Zealand native and former snowbird from Upstate New York was also experiencing other issues with her eyes that further compromised her vision.Diana (alias) is treated for dry eye disease with the LipiFlow® system by Dr. Clifford Salinger at The Dry Eye Spa® & V.I.P Laser Eye Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

“My eyes were really bothering me, and not just from the cataracts,” she reflects. “There was also terrible itchiness, redness, grittiness and a feeling there was something stuck in my eyes all the time. All of these symptoms were related
to my dry eye disease.

“I was also having a lot of difficulty with my vision. Some of that was because of the cataracts and some of it was due to the dry eye. They both contributed to my vision being blurry and not as good as it should be.”

According to Diana, dry eye disease is a nasty disorder to have. She tried treating hers with popular, over-the-counter eye drops, but never got lasting relief from them. The symptoms always returned.

“People can’t treat dry eye with over-the-counter drops and live normally with it,” she shares. “It doesn’t work that way. The dryness, redness, burning and feeling of something in my eyes never went away with the over-the-counter medications. They were just a temporary fix.”

When Diana consulted with the ophthalmologist who was to perform her cataract surgery, he suggested she have her dry eye treated before surgery. He told Diana about a new treatment for dry eye called LipiFlow®, then referred her to Clifford L. Salinger, MD, founder of The Dry Eye Spa & V.I.P. Laser Eye Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

Dr. Salinger specializes in dry eye disease, which afflicts millions of Americans. He provides extensive education and testing, as well as comprehensive treatment for the disorder. Among the treatments he provides is the LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System from TearScience®.

“Dry eye disease, also called ocular surface disease, is caused by a combination of factors,” Dr. Salinger points out. “Among those are a reduction in the quantity of tears on the surface of the eyes and a decrease in the quality of the tears produced. Tear quality includes the composition and amount of oils in the eye’s tear layer.

“LipiFlow is a revolutionary breakthrough for treating chronic dry eye disease. It relieves dry eye symptoms by removing blockages of the eyelid’s oil glands. Opening and clearing the blocked glands enhances the natural production of the oils needed to restore a healthier tear layer on the surface of the eye.”

“I spoke to my ophthalmologist about LipiFlow, then did some research,” states Diana. “I also read an article about Dr. Salinger in Florida Health Care News and saw that he also expresses the oil glands in the eyelids. I wanted to do whatever would make my eyes better, so I called and made an appointment.

“I told Dr. Salinger I wanted to have the LipiFlow as soon as possible. I believed it was going to be a good solution for me.”

The Finish Line

“Diana came to us in mid March of this year with significant dry eye disease in both eyes,” notes Dr. Salinger. “Her cataract surgeon was savvy enough to understand that significant dry eye disease affects the cataract surgery in several critical ways.

“First, it makes the surgery more challenging. Second, healing after surgery is slower. Third and most important, dry eye alters the measurements and calculations necessary to determine the appropriate lens implant strength for the best uncorrected vision following surgery.Diana (alias) is treated for dry eye disease with the LipiFlow® system by Dr. Clifford Salinger at The Dry Eye Spa® & V.I.P Laser Eye Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

“The ophthalmologist rightly told Diana to treat her dry eye first to improve the condition of her eyes’ environment and stabilize the disease. Then her surgery, healing and choice of implant would be more straightforward.”

After doing several tests to determine the extent of Diana’s condition, Dr. Salinger began her on a comprehensive therapy for her dry eye disease. For Diana, this included hot compresses, lid hygiene with special cleaning agents, vitamin supplements, a mild steroid drop for inflammation, and antibiotic drops and ointment.

“After two weeks of treatment, Diana was still having quite a bit of discomfort because the surfaces of her eyes were so dry,” reports Dr. Salinger. “So, on April third, we did the LipiFlow treatment, and she did very well with it.”

The three-step LipiFlow treatment takes about an hour, with cleaning of the
eyelids before the procedure and expressing the oil glands in the eyelids afterward.

“During the LipiFlow procedure, an eyepiece contacts the outer eyelid and contains a soft, flexible bladder that intermittently inflates to provide controlled pressure and massage,” explains Dr. Salinger. “Heat is also applied to the inner surface of the lid because of its proximity to the glands.”

Both of these functions work to liquefy then remove clogging debris from the oil glands.

“Other doctors don’t typically do the expression of oil glands, but we find that adding this step enhances the benefits of LipiFlow more rapidly, and they last longer,” observes Dr. Salinger. “This step can double or triple the duration of the
treatment’s benefits.”

Dr. Salinger saw Diana three weeks after her LipiFlow procedure for a follow-up appointment. When he examined her eyes, they showed a great deal of improvement already.

“Diana was experiencing less redness, burning, tearing and overall discomfort,” he offers. “She returned to the office at five weeks post-treatment and said she was thrilled with the comfort in both eyes.”

With this substantial improvement in Diana’s dry eye symptoms, Dr. Salinger was able to cut back on some of the other treatments in her comprehensive therapy plan.

“We’re finding that eighty to ninety percent of our patients are getting significant improvement of their dry eye disease, although many don’t reach it as quickly as Diana,” Dr. Salinger asserts. “She was more motivated than the average person because she saw the finish line as the chance to have vision-correcting
cataract surgery.”

Wonderful Feeling

Immediately after getting the LipiFlow treatment, Diana’s eyes started feeling better little by little. Then, all of a sudden, she realized a burst of relief. She was amazed by the experience and by the treatment’s ultimate results.

Diana (alias) is treated for dry eye disease with the LipiFlow® system by Dr. Clifford Salinger at The Dry Eye Spa® & V.I.P Laser Eye Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

LipiFlow is a revolutionary breakthrough for treating chronic dry eye disease.

“My eyes feel wonderful,” she marvels. “Dr. Salinger always asks me how I’m doing on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best. When I last saw him, I said, Dr. Salinger, you get a ten plus! The difference in my eyes is remarkable.”

The comprehensive therapy plan created by Dr. Salinger, which included the LipiFlow procedure, eased the uncomfortable dry eye symptoms Diana suffered. She notes how extensive they were prior to treatment and how much better they are now.

“The redness I had wasn’t just in the eyes,” she describes. “It was all along the edges, too, but it’s all gone now. The itching, grittiness and feeling of something in my eyes are all gone. I have no symptoms whatsoever since LipiFlow treatment. It’s wonderful.

“I know my vision will improve more after cataract surgery, but I got some improvement since the LipiFlow. Now, my eyes don’t get as tired as they used to when I’m reading or watching television. My vision is better in that respect.”

As Diana prepares for her cataract surgery, she knows it will go more smoothly now that she’s had her dry eye treated. She’s pleased with the difference the treatment has made in her daily life already.

“With the dry eye, my eyes were uncomfortable all the time; it was a twenty-four-hour thing,” she relates. “Now that I’ve had the LipiFlow with Dr. Salinger at The Dry Eye Spa and V.I.P. Laser Eye Center, it’s a really, really good feeling.”

*Patient’s name withheld at their request.
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