Dry Eye Sufferers Find Breakthrough Treatment at EyeHealth Northwest

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Portland clinic offers new revolutionary technology from TearScience to assess and treat Evaporative Dry Eye Disease

EyeHealth Northwest has been serving the eye care needs of the Portland Metropolitan and Clackamas County areas since 1954.

Endless eye drops and constant warm compresses to suppress scratchy, gritty and dry eyes are no longer the only treatments available to Portland-area sufferers of a chronic, progressive condition known as Evaporative Dry Eye.

EyeHealth Northwest today announced the availability of LipiFlow®, a breakthrough treatment for Evaporative Dry Eye disease from TearScience. Headquartered in Morrisville, NC, TearScience’s innovative technology assesses and treats the root cause of Evaporative Dry Eye disease and is the result of 30 years of research and collaboration with more than 50 scientist and professionals and millions of dollars of investment.

EyeHealth Northwest is a local comprehensive ophthalmology practice in Portland, Oregon, with 11 offices in the Metropolitan area that provides complete eye care for all ages. With a mission of dedication to preserving a lifetime of vision, EyeHealth Northwest provides a full team of optometrists, ophthalmologists and ophthalmology sub-specialists. EyeHealth Northwest was the first clinic to offer the LipiFlow treatment in the Northwest region, and has developed a dry eye center to address the needs of patients who suffer from this difficult disease.

“Endless eye drops and constant warm compresses to suppress scratchy, gritty and dry eyes are no longer the only treatments available to Portland-area sufferers of a chronic, progressive condition known as Evaporative Dry Eye,” said Dr. Kerry B. Hagen, who is one of EyeHealth Northwest’s leading dry eye specialists. “Co-founded by one of the most respected optometrist in the world, Dr. Donald R. Korb, TearScience offers a new standard of care and dramatically improves the ability to help dry eye patients.”

TearScience gained FDA clearance in February 2012 for its system that assesses and treats Evaporative Dry Eye, which occurs when Meibomian glands in the eyelids become obstructed and do not secrete the oily lipids needed to keep the water portion of tears from evaporating too quickly. TearScience’s assessment and treatment devices include, the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer and the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. LipiView measures the absolute thickness of the lipid layer of a dry eye patient’s tear film, helping the physician assess for a lipid deficiency. LipiView is used in conjunction with other ocular tools including a dry eye questionnaire and a Meibomian gland evaluation to determine if a patient suffers from Evaporative Dry Eye. LipiView also helps identify if the patient is a partial blinker.

For patients who suffer from Evaporative Dry Disease, which can cause eyes to feel dry, irritated, gritty and may even cause blurred vision or sensitivity to sunlight, LipiFlow can be used to treat the root cause by unblocking obstructed Meibomian glands located in the eyelids during an in-office procedure. The goal of unblocking the Meibomian glands is to allow them to resume their natural production of lipids needed for a healthy tear film. Evaporative Dry Eye differs from Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye, where the body is not able to produce adequate moisture to keep the eyes lubricated and is treated with wetting drops. According to a recent study, 86 percent of dry eye patients suffer from Evaporative Dry Eye1. Left untreated, Evaporative Dry Eye is a chronic, progressive disease that may worsen over time2. Patients who undergo a LipiView screening will gain insight into their disease to make informed decisions about treatment options. In TearScience’s multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical study, 79 percent of patients reported some improvement in overall dry eye symptoms within four weeks of a single LipiFlow treatment.

“I believe LipiFlow and other technology innovations from TearScience will safely improve the lives of many dry eye sufferers” said Tim Willis, CEO and co-founder of TearScience.

“I’ve tried everything and spent enormous amounts of money on drops for years and I was not getting better,” said Deborah H., EyeHealth Northwest patient and recipient of LipiFlow treatment. “I got tired of feeling helpless with my dry eye and tired of feeling like my doctor was randomly grasping at treatments. LipiView helped me understand the lipid layer thickness of my tears. The LipiFlow procedure is fast, virtually painless, and takes place right in a doctor’s office.”

To hear more TearScience customer testimonials, click here. For TearScience safety information, click here.

1.    Lemp MA, et al. Distribution of aqueous deficient and evaporative dry eye in a clinic-based patient cohort: a retrospective study. Cornea. 2012:31(5):472-478
2.    Nichols KK, et al. The International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: Executive Summary.

About EyeHealth Northwest
EyeHealth Northwest represents a team of eye care specialists dedicated to maintaining your eye health now--and into the future. EyeHealth Northwest has been serving the eye care needs of the Portland Metropolitan and Clackamas County areas since 1954. We are devoted to the full-service medical, surgical and routine vision care needs of our patients, who include children, adults, and seniors.

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Kellie Christenson-Akagi
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