Treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction & Rosacea
Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates is pleased to be one of the first eye care centers to offer OptiLight, a new FDA-approved upgrade to intense pulsed light (IPL) for dry eye relief. This is the latest and best technology available for treating meibomian gland dysfunction, the cause of chronic dry eye in about 86% of patients with this condition.
Meibomian glands are oil glands located on the edge of the eyelids and play a large role in preventing evaporation of your tears. When these glands are clogged or inflamed, the eye has difficulty retaining lubrication, which in turn causes dry eye. Dr. Ernest Kornmehl uses OptiLight to improve the functionality of the glands by targeting inflamed, abnormal blood vessels.
This treatment is safe, effective and non-invasive. Dr. Kornmehl is skilled with IPL, ensuring that patients have a gentle and comfortable experience.
Our Exciting New Technology
OptiLight is made by Lumenis, a leader in medical laser innovations. For years, Lumenis has manufactured Optima IPL, a wildly popular treatment. Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates is still excited to offer Optima to our patients, enhancing the results and experience with the OptiLight upgrade.
Most other eye care facilities still use older models of this technology, which were not designed specifically to treat dry eye and do not have FDA approval. OptiLight earned FDA approval after a rigorous clinical trial demonstrated significant benefits for participants, including:
- Constricting blood vessels responsible for inflammation
- Improving tear breakup time
- Boosting the functionality of the meibomian glands
- Reducing bacteria and demodex mites that live on the lids
Because OptiLight is built to fit sleekly around the eyelid, patients are not at risk for an accidental removal of the eyelashes or eyebrows like they can be with other treatment options.
How Does OptiLight Work?
IPL sends pulses of broad-spectrum light through the surface of your skin to target the abnormal blood vessels that cause inflammation. The blood absorbs the light at certain wavelengths and heat is generated. In response to the heat, your body starts to constrict the abnormal blood vessels and reverse the inflammation. Over a period of a few weeks following treatment, the vessels close and are resorbed. This improves your skin’s appearance and restores meibomian gland function.
What Happens During OptiLight Treatment?
OptiLight is an in-office treatment. A treatment session lasts approximately 15 minutes.
Every effort is made to optimize your safety and comfort. Prior to treatment, Dr. Kornmehl applies a coupling gel to the targeted area to cool and protect your skin. You are also asked to wear protective pads throughout the treatment session.
As Dr. Kornmehl works on the targeted skin, you may feel a warm, light snapping sensation when the light hits your skin. However, this should not be painful.
After your initial OptiLight treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction, Dr. Kornmehl may also recommend LipiFlow treatment to gently express blocked glands and restore the normal flow of oil to the tear film.
Some patients see the desired results in as few as one to two treatments. In most cases, though, four sessions performed within three months are recommended to achieve the desired treatment outcome. Maintenance treatments are required. Dr. Kornmehl can recommend the number and frequency of treatments based on your specific needs and goals.
What Can I Expect After OptiLight Treatment?
Most patients notice a significant decrease in their dry eye symptoms after one or two treatments.
After treatment, you may experience slight redness around the targeted areas. This redness usually resolves within a few hours.
Normal activities can be resumed the same day as treatment, and makeup can usually be applied after three days. Direct sun exposure, self-tanning methods and tanning beds are not permitted during the therapeutic period; sunscreen should be used to protect the skin when going outdoors.
OptiLight for Rosacea
As an experienced provider of OptiLight, Dr. Kornmehl also offers OptiLight to patients with rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that reddens the face and neck. The wavelengths of the OptiLight eliminate leaky blood vessels and inflammation. This gentle treatment is a great way for patients to achieve an even, natural skin tone. Simultaneously, the skin appears rejuvenated.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Optima IPL Treatment
How will OptiLight IPL treatment help with my dry eye symptoms?
OptiLight IPL treatment may be a good solution for you if your dry eye symptoms are linked to an underlying inflammatory skin condition, such as rosacea or telangiectasia. With these conditions, abnormal blood vessels develop under the skin and release inflammatory cells that cause inflammation. When this inflammation occurs around the eyelids, it interferes with the normal function of the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing oils that prevent your tears from evaporating.
OptiLight uses light-based energy to remove the sources of inflammation, thereby improving the way the oil-producing glands function. Better-functioning oil glands lead to an improvement in dry eye symptoms. Optima IPL treatment can also eradicate Demodex mites, which are linked to some cases of dry eye.
Who is not a good candidate for OptiLight IPL treatment?
OptiLight treatment is not recommended for individuals who:
- Are taking medications that increase photosensitivity
- Are pregnant
- Have a history of keloid scarring
- Have active cold sores, herpes simplex or herpes zoster virus
- Have lupus
- Have used tanning beds within three to four weeks of treatment or have a natural tan
Is OptiLight treatment uncomfortable?
No. The OptiLight IPL treatment applicator features water-based cool tips to provide a comfortable and well-tolerated treatment. The tips allow Dr. Kornmehl to deliver the desired light energy to the dermis without creating any discomfort. The tips are also uniquely designed for easy access around the delicate eyelid area.
Is OptiLight a laser?
No. It uses rapid, intense pulses of white light , not laser energy.
What are the benefits of OptiLight IPL for dry eyes?
IPL treatment addresses the root cause of the problem instead of temporarily alleviating symptoms. The treatment is quick and well tolerated and can be conveniently performed on a lunch break from work. Most patients see a rapid improvement in their symptoms.
If you have tried other dry eye treatments or medications but have not achieved symptom relief, IPL treatment could be the answer.
How many OptiLight treatments will I need?
The average patient requires four OptiLight treatments to achieve desired results. After learning more about you and your case, Dr. Kornmehl can recommend the number of sessions you will require to see results.
How long does each treatment take?
A treatment session usually takes about 15 minutes. Dr. Kornmehl recommends administering OptiLight in combination with LipiFlow to melt and express thicker oil deposits that can clog normal oil flow.
Is there any downtime after OptiLight IPL treatment?
You can immediately return to work or your normal day after OptiLight treatment as long as you avoid direct sun exposure and wear sunscreen if going outdoors.
Are there any side effects from OptiLight IPL treatment?
OptiLight treatment may cause temporary redness, swelling and lightening or darkening of the skin.
How soon will I see the results of treatment?
Most of our patients see an initial improvement in dry eye symptoms after one or two treatments.
Will OptiLight IPL treatment permanently cure my dry eyes?
For the right candidates, OptiLight can provide lasting relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye. We recommend maintenance treatments every six to 12 months.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Kornmehl
For more information about IPL for the treatment of rosacea or meibomian gland dysfunction, Dr. Kornmehl invites you to schedule a consultation at our Wellesley practice. As one of the only facilities in the Boston area to have the latest OptiLight technology, Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates should be the first place you look to deal with dry eye symptoms. With OptiLight, Optima IPL and LipiFlow all available on-site, Dr. Kornmehl can develop a thorough treatment plan to reduce or eliminate the burning and scratching sensations that accompany chronic dry eye.