It makes millions miserable. Dry eye disease is caused by a variety of things, and standard treatment usually means medications, daily eye drops and ointments. But now there's a new eye opening option for sufferers, and it only takes few minutes.
Lou Baxter has the story.
Narration... With every blink,
Diana Galson-Kooy, dry eye patient, said: "I felt like I had a piece of glass in my eye."
Narration... Diana Galson-Kooy has suffered with dry eye disease for years.
Diana: "I've kind of gotten used to the pain."
Narration ... Caused by things like prolonged contact lens wear, birth control, anti-histamines, and even staring a screen. Evaporative dry eye affects the glands that make tears.
Ernest Kornmehl, MD, FACS, said: "Her tears that she's making are leaving her eyes much quicker than she should be."
Narration... Doctor Kornmehl says, like Diana, the majority of his patients come in for dry eye treatments. For many, he's now recommending this... "Perfect, you're doing wonderfully."
Narration... It's called LipiFlow.
Dr. Kornmehl: "It takes 12 minutes and patients go to work immediately after the procedure."
Narration...These cups surround the eyelids. They heat up and pulsate to melt blockages in her tear glands.
Dianna: "It doesn't hurt. It just is strange."
Narration... In FDA trials, 79 percent of LipiFlow patients showed improvement. The doctor says those improvements can last nine to 15 months. Some LipiFlow patients, like Diana, will still need additional treatments. But for others,
Dr. Kornmehl: "They find themselves not taking the drops or ointments as they were before."
Narration... Right after Diana's treatment...
Diana: "My eyes feel lubricated."
Narration...It's brought some much needed tears to her eyes.
Diana: "It was unbelievable."
Narration...I'm Lou Baxter reporting.