I have had eye problems for really as long as I can remember. For Example, I had an offensive amount of sty’s in both of my eyes in the second grade which caused me to look like a troll. Then, I developed a horrific reaction to contacts in high school, which they told me was caused by significant scarring on both of my eyes. Then, I got LASIK. Glasses were not cool yet, and I was too young to realize how insanely expensive it was. $2,800 bucks when I was a freshman in college? Whatever, I just spent that in books. $2,800 dollars as a post graduate, underpaid, adult? You can pry that shit out of my cold, dead, bony, hands. The only downside I ever hear from LASIK was
Which, whatever, eye drops exist and my eyes were already dry. So, for the past five years I have had some dry ass eyes. Which I never brought up because it was a side effect of a completely elective surgery I had. Plus you know…..eye drops.
HOWEVER, this is not about LASIK and how effing great it was (get it). This is about something I thought that was caused by LASIK (dry eyes), was actually not. My eye doctor had a new machine this year for my yearly check up. I filled out a new questionnaire about if my eyes were dry or if they hurt. Which they WERE and DID. I’m talking about, no joke, when I wake up in the morning my eyes take ten seconds to open because they are dried shut. I wake up from shooting pains in the middle of a dead sleep.
They take my paperwork and new questionnaire and sit down. They take me to this new blessed machine which takes pictures of the inside of my eyelids. Weird flex, but ok. Turns out, which most humans probably know that I didn’t, you have glands on the inside of your eyelids. I really had no idea. As fate would also have it, most of the glands in both of my eyes had…….died. I am left with a mere shell of glands, trying to keep my eyes not dry.
Think….the spongebob episode where the workers in his head are on fire.
Well, it wasn’t enough, like me, the glands in my eyes are lazy as hell. They were not working. They were the equivalent of Seniors in high school the literal day before their Panama City spring break trip. “Nah”.
The top picture is what you’re glands are supposed to look like (the white):
This is what my eyes looked like:
Barren. A wasteland, and not the cool kind.
So then my doctor tells me, there is a new procedure for dry eyes, even eyes as dry as mine
Actually, it is specifically for people whose eyes are as dry as mine. The procedure, Lipiflow, helps to make sure the glands in your eyes are working as well as they can. I won’t ever get back those glands that I have lost, but I can make sure the glands I have are working as hard as Lance Armstrong when he was on steroids.
Insurance doesnt cover it, because it is considered elective. Which, wake up to your eyes crusted shut one day and then tell me its elective. But whatever, I want that shit, and the doctor wanted me to have it as soon as possible. Plus I got a day off of work, so sign a bitch up.
Basically what goes on here is, a little disk goes under my eyelids that heat up my glands/eyeballs to get the oil out. Then, at the same time, on the outside of my eyelids is a massaging mechanism that moves the oils around.
It sounds disgusting, and the thought of something sitting under my eyelids makes me want to throw up, but it was not bad.
The procedure takes all of 12 minutes, two 6 minutes cycles. It was a long 12 minutes…..because I couldnt look at anything and because I could hear my mom drinking all the tea I brought.
My eyes were extra heavy for a few days. Because, like me, your eye lids usually don’t do much of anything ever. So after being worked out for 12 minutes straight, your eyelids are like alright, how about we sit the hell down. Like when I try to take the stairs at work. So, I laid low all weekend.
I, however, have every adverse reaction to surgery ever. So, my eyes were very dry and it was hard to see at some points from my eyelids not wanting to work.
Post Lipiflow, the return of dry eyes
Your dry eyes will also become more dry for a few days after the surgery, because life isn’t fair. Actually, it’s mostly because at the procedure they get almost all the oils you have out, so your glands have to generate all new oil.
After those few dry eye days, the glands will start working better and better. The effects of the procedure last anywhere from 1-3 years, and then you can get it again. Which is great because I am not down for purchasing elective surgeries that do not remove fat and/or wrinkles.
All in all, I’d do it again. Well, since it doesnt last forever, I should say I WILL do it again. If I had mild dry eyes, I probably would not have paid for this. However, with my condition being as bad as my doctor said it was, and the amount of pain I was constantly in from having dry eyes, it was a no brainer.
Also, unfortunately, nobody paid or reimbursed me for saying this. Also, and this should be clear, I am in no way a doctor. So go get your own eyelids checked before you try and get this procedure.
Also, I believe there is a separate appointment in between the check up and actual surgery. However, it was very clear I needed the procedure and had no glands, so my doc skipped it.
Here is to NO MORE DRY EYES.