Some background

I am Vin T. Dang and I once suffered from dry eyes.

When I attended SCCO, I learned I had long been suffering from dry eyes. I participated in the research studies of Dr. Jerry Paugh, and took in tremendous information about ocular surface disease. At that time, aqueous deficiency was the focus of treatment. However, my problem had a mixed mechanism and never really responded to Restasis but I continued to use it in hope of preventing my condition from worsening.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Fortunately, I caught a webinar led by Dr. Paul Karpecki discussing Meibomian Gland Dysfunction/Disease (MGD) and realized perhaps my dry eyes could be related to MGD. I contacted Dr. Karpecki inquiring about treatment for MGD and was told there wasn’t anything beyond the palliative treatment of warm compresses and lid massages.

Then in 2011, TearScience won FDA approval for its LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation device which can eliminate gland blockages to treat MGD and prevent gland loss. However, the cost of the unit at the time was very prohibitive. The machine originally costs nearly $100,000 with activator fees of $350.

In 2015, the company was finally able to reduce the price of the Lipiscan and Lipiflow to $65,000 and the activators to $175.

At Academy in November of last year, I finally had my MGs scanned. I was suffering from moderate drop out, truncation, and dilation of my MGs. That confirmed it – my chronic dry eyes were mostly due to MGD!

Now my goal is to educate patients about this condition and initiate treatment and prevention strategies so they don’t have to suffer like I once did.