The iLux system enables an eye care professional to quickly identify blocked meibomian glands and then apply a gentle, painless treatment to unblock the glands.
The system is comprised of a handheld instrument and a disposable tip. The tip includes an inner pad and an outer pad, both covered with biocompatible silicone similar to what is used in contact lenses. During a procedure, the thin inner pad is slipped behind the eyelid, and the outer pad is advanced forward to capture the eyelid between the inner and outer pads.
By lightly compressing the eyelid between the pads, the clinician can view the meibomian gland orifices through a magnifier on the instrument and thereby assess the health of the glands. The compression force is controlled by a thumb-operated lever which gives the clinician tactile feedback. In addition, a display on the instrument shows the amount of force being applied, and warns if the force is getting too high.
Once blocked glands are identified, a proprietary light-based energy source is applied to the eyelid to raise the temperature of the meibum inside the meibomian glands to its melting point of around 39 – 41°C. Unlike warm compresses, the iLux device is designed to accomplish this consistently and quickly – in less than a minute for most patients. After the meibum is melted, the clinician gently massages the eyelid between the two pads and thereby expresses the melted meibum through the gland orifices, which are monitored through the magnifier.
The iLux instrument can be used for lower and upper eyelids. Safety features incorporated in the device are configured to ensure that the energy delivered is within the desired range, and that no harm can be done to delicate eye tissues beneath the eyelids.