HERZIG EYE INSTITUTE FIRST IN NORTH AMERICA TO INTRODUCE LIPIFLOW®

A BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENT FOR EVAPORATIVE DRY EYE DISEASE

TORONTO, June 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Dry eyes affect more than 100 million people worldwide, with 65 percent of these people suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye disease, which hinders daily activities such as reading, using the computer, wearing contact lenses and being outdoors on windy days. Industry leader, the Herzig Eye Institute is the first centre in North America to introduce LipiFlow®, a new advanced treatment system for patients who suffer from Evaporative Dry Eye disease.  LipiFlow® has received a medical device license from Health Canada.

Evaporative Dry Eye disease is caused by blocked meibomian glands, small glands in the eyelid margins that produce oil which creates a deficiency in the lipids in the tear film resulting in the water in tears to evaporate at a faster rate than normal. Eyes become dry, itchy and gritty and often become red and swollen. To prevent this, the blocked eyelid glands must be opened by applying a combination of localized heat therapy and pressure.

"Dry eye disease is one of the most common topics patients discuss when visiting eye care professionals," said Dr. Sheldon Herzig, the Herzig Eye Institute.  "The new LipiFlow® treatment is a more long lasting solution to help those patients who are very frustrated with this chronic disease and all of the ways it negatively impacts their lives. While there is no cure for chronic dry eye, LipiFlow® stimulates the eyelid glands to manufacture more of the natural oil needed in the tear film to lubricate and prevent evaporation."

TearScience's innovative technology platform is comprised of the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer and the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System to treat meibomian gland dysfunction and evaporative dry eye.  LipiView® allows physicians to visualize the tear film of patients with dry eye disease.  LipiFlow® applies a precise combination of heat and pressure to a patient's eyelids during a 12-minute non invasive in-office treatment, which is designed to alleviate meibomian gland blockages.   Opening the blocked eyelid glands allows the eyes to resume the natural production of lipids needed for a healthy tear film.

During the non-invasive treatment, which takes 12 minutes per eye, a cup-shaped device is placed over the eye. The inner layer warms the insides of the lids gently to 42.5oC while keeping the eye cool. The inflatable outer layer puts pressure on the outer lids.

"Once the eyelids are warmed up the device squeezes them and pushes out the stagnating oil within the meibomian glands and opens the pores of the glands," explains Dr. Herzig. "This procedure opens the blocked eyelid glands and allows the eyes to resume the natural production of lipids needed for a healthy tear film.  This clear-out helps start a process of improvement which continues to progress over time."

Marketing professional Rajpal Patel, 32, was one of the first people in North America to undergo the new LipiFlow® treatment at the Herzig Eye Institute 2 months ago.

"I suffered from dry eye for about 2 years," states Patel. "My eyes were constantly itchy and scratchy.  It was hard to open my eyes when I woke up in the morning and by the end of the day my vision was blurry. Since having the LipiFlow® treatment my eyes have been getting progressively better and I do not need eye drops as much. I feel relieved now and I am not thinking about my eyes because they are no longer bothering me." 

Dr. Joseph Villard, a radiologist from Baltimore Maryland read about LipiFlow® and the clinical trials on the internet.  Relying heavily on his eyes when examining MRIs, chest x-rays and ultrasounds for more than 10 hours a day, his job is computer intensive and requires precision.  When his dry eye was at its worse, Villard would use drops every 5 minutes and would purposely drive through the city instead of highway so he could put drops in his eyes at each red light. He travelled to Toronto at the beginning of May to have the LipiFlow® procedure at the Herzig Eye Institute.

"Since developing dry eye 10 months ago, I have tried everything including warm compresses, antibiotic ointments, steroids, omega 3 fatty acids and doxycycline to alleviate the problem and nothing worked," states Villard.  "LipiFlow® is the only solution that has worked for opening up the glands. Since having the procedure, my ophthalmologist has noticed a huge increase in functioning eye glands in my lower eye lids.  I went from having 6 glands functioning in my right eye to 20 and from 4 glands to 15 in my left eye." There are 25 glands in the lower lid of each eye.

Since the LipiFlow® procedure he has continued to use warm compresses and takes omega 3 fatty acids and doxycycline.

"I no longer use drops in my left eye and only need a few drops in my right eye," adds Villard. "There is improvement in the comfort in my eyes both at day and night, and I am sure it will continue over time. Dry eye is a chronic condition and there is no permanent treatment. I will go back as often as I need to keep my glands open and keep my eyes healthy for maintenance."

In controlled clinical studies of patients who received a single LipiFlow® treatment, most patients felt at least some relief of their dry eye symptoms within two weeks after the treatment. The average meibomian gland score at four weeks increased by two to three times over the baseline condition, which reflects improvement in the number of glands secreting and secretion quality.   Additionally, at four weeks after the LipiFlow® treatment, 79% of patients reported improvement in dry eye symptoms.

About the Herzig Eye Institute:
The Herzig Eye Institute has treated thousands of patients from across Canada, 42 US states and 23 countries worldwide.  The Herzig Eye Institute is led by Co-Founder and Medical Director Sheldon Herzig, MD, FRCSC, a world-renowned expert in his field and past president of the Canadian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeon who prepared the Recommended Safety Guidelines for Laser Refractive Centres in Canada and Co-Founder and CEO Cherry Tabb, recipient of the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Innovations.  The Herzig Eye Institute's High Definition Vision® solutions utilize only the most advanced vision correction technology as well as other proven intraocular surgical procedures for patients who do not qualify for laser surgery.  The Herzig Eye Institute also offers treatments for presbyopia including NearVision CK, Monovision LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange, the Intraocular Collamer Lens (ICL), as well as providing Advanced Cataract Solutions.  The Herzig Eye Institute is the only custom vision correction surgical centre in North America to be awarded the prestigious ISO 9001 certification by SGS International Certification Services, Inc.

SOURCE Herzig Eye Institute

For further information:

and/or interview requests, please contact:
Peter Ashworth / Ashley Lloyd; Ashworth Associates Inc.; 416-603-6005
peter@ashworthassociates.comashley@ashworthassociates.com

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