Radiofrequency (RF) is quickly becoming one of the most requested office-based treatments because it feels like a gentle hot stone massage. At the proper device settings, it safely and effectively liquifies meibum within the Meibomian Glands to remove unhealthy oils and improve the tear film stability. As a beneficial side effect, it also has skin tightening, wrinkle reduction, and collagen strengthening properties. RF may be performed as a standalone option or in combination with other modalities.
Treatment Time: 15-20 minutes
Comfort Level: Relaxing
Downtime: minimal to none
Background: RF is a type of energy that is commonly used in medical procedures. In recent years, RF has been used for the treatment of dry eye, as it helps to improve the function of the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oily layer of tears. This oily layer of the tear film serves to prevent evaporation of the tears, otherwise known as evaporative dry eye (the leading cause of dry eye).
What is MGD?
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a common cause of dry eye, and it occurs when the glands become blocked or inflamed, leading to decreased production of the oily layer of tears. This can cause the tears to evaporate too quickly, leading to dryness, discomfort, and other symptoms.
How it works?
The RF handpiece is placed near the eyelids (in the peri-orbital area), and the RF energy is used to gradually heat the meibomian glands, which helps to unclog them and improve the flow of the oily layer of tears.
Are there studies to support RF for dry eyes?
Studies have shown that RF treatment is a safe and effective way to improve the symptoms of dry eye, particularly in cases of MGD. In one study published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers found that RF treatment led to significant improvements in dry eye symptoms, as well as improvements in tear film stability and meibomian gland function.
Advantages of RF over traditional dry eye treatments?
In addition to its therapeutic benefits, radiofrequency treatment also has several other advantages over traditional dry eye treatments. For example, it is non-invasive and does not require the use of medications or eye drops. It is also cost-effective and can provide long-lasting relief from dry eye symptoms.
Overall, radiofrequency is a promising new option for patients with dry eye and MGD. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye or have been diagnosed with MGD, talk to your dry eye specialist about whether radiofrequency treatment may be right for you. With its many benefits and high success rates, it may be just the solution you need to finally find relief from your dry eye symptoms
Studies/Literature: Safety & Efficacy of Radiofrequency Thermal Expression
1) Transcutaneous radiofrequency-mediated meibomian gland expression is an effective treatment for dry eye: a prospective cohort trial
2) Effects of IPL and RF treatment on meibomian gland regeneration and patient experience of dry eye disease
3) Safety and efficacy of a low-level radiofrequency thermal treatment in an animal model of obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction
4) Pellevé (Radiofrequency) vs Lipiflow MGD-Related Dry Eye Treatment Study: The ThermaLid Procedure