For Kathy Bardisbanian, dry eyes were eating away at work and play.
“It’s uncomfortable to read because you have to keep blinking and blinking and blinking,” she said. “I had to put drops in right away when I got in the car just to drive.”
Dry eyes can be a serious problem with multiple causes and long-term health consequences.
But as Dr. Alex Cohen of the Dean Mcgee Eye Institute told us, there is a new treatment available right here in Oklahoma City.
“It’s the Lipiflow machine,” Cohen said. “It’s a thermal pulsation machine. As far as we know, it’s the first in the state. There are probably 50 installations in the world.”
Cohen said it’s used to treat people whose eyes don’t produce enough oils.
“The oil is more like the consistency of toothpaste where it should be more like an olive oil,” Cohen said. “What it does is basically heat up the eyelids and compresses the oil glands and gets the oils to come out.”
It takes only 12 minutes and Kathy said it is painless.
“Oh my gosh it was so easy it was like a massage just on your eyelids,” she said.
Dr. Cohen said the treatment lasts one to two years and his success rate so far is 100 percent.
For Kathy it was an entirely new normal in just minutes.
“You’re blessed because you have something that’s bothered you every single day and it’s no longer in your mind anymore,” she said.
Not everyone is a candidate for the surgery.
It is not covered by insurance and costs around $1,500.