ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) -- Chronic dry eye is a very uncomfortable condition for millions of people. It causes not only burning with itching, but also headaches and fatigue.
A new treatment called Lipiflow helps people who have chronic evaporative dry eye. 85 percent of dry eye is the evaporative type. With this condition, the glands in your eyelids become clogged over the years. When this happens, those glands have trouble producing the oils that help control your tears.
Alan Glazier, OD of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care says, "One of the biggest culprits is hormonal changes. This is a very common problem with females over 40, due to certain changes, and well into menopause.
Dr. Glazier offers Lipiflow, the technology uses special clamps to apply controlled heat to the inner eyelid. After that heat is applied, the clamp actually massages the inactive glands, stimulating oil production.
Dr. Glazier says, "So this is a total paradigm shift in the treatment of dry eye. There's never been anything like it for this particular problem, which is the major cause of dry eye."
Beth Dromerick of Potomac says, "When your eyes get very dry, you start to get very tired. You really don't want to keep your eyes open."
Dromerick suffered from the headaches and fatigue associated with dry eye. She used Lipiflow to try to get some much needed relief.
Dromerick says, "It was actually very soothing."
The benefits of Lipiflow happen 2 to 4 weeks after treatment. It took about 3 weeks for Dromerick to feel the lasting relief.
"Just not feeling like (my eyes) are dry and tired, and yeah, I'm not aware of my eyes as much as I was before."
The procedure lasts about 17 minutes and because it is very new, Lipiflow is not covered by insurance.