Chronic dry eyes, or dry eye disease, can be a painful and uncomfortable burden to live with every day. While there are several potential causes of dry eyes, meibomian gland dysfunction is the culprit in 86 percent of patients. Dr. Kornmehl in Boston offers OptiLight IPL, the only FDA-approved laser treatment for dry eyes.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
The insides of your eyelids are lined with meibomian glands that secrete oil onto the surface of your eye and mix with the other two layers of tears (mucous and water) for a consistent, lubricated tear film. When these glands are blocked, clogged or inflamed, poor tear quality and rapid tear evaporation occur. Meibomian gland dysfunction is often associated with rosacea and leads to burning sensations, redness, a gritty feeling and other dry eye symptoms. Meibomian gland dysfunction may also be caused by Demodex mites that live on the eyelids.
OptiLight IPL Treatment for Dry Eye Disease
OptiLight is the latest upgrade to the Optima IPL laser system made by Lumines. The new technology went through rigorous clinical trials to achieve approval by the Food and Drug Administration for dry eye treatment. OptiLight works to treat meibomian gland dysfunction by focusing on abnormal blood vessels in the area to reduce inflammation. The laser treatment constricts blood vessels to boost gland function and reduce the bacteria and Demodex mites living on the eyelids.
The OptiLight technology sends a broad spectrum of light energy through the skin’s surface with specific wavelengths to target abnormal blood vessels in the meibomian glands. The blood absorbs the light wavelengths and generates heat that stimulates your body to constrict or reduce the blood vessels, reducing inflammation. Dry eye symptoms improve slowly in the weeks following treatment as the blood vessels close and resorb into the tissues. The skin’s appearance will also improve along with gland function.
Your OptiLight IPL treatment for dry eyes takes about 15 minutes at our Boston office. Dr. Kornmehl will use a coupling gel to protect and cool your skin and place protective pads on your eyes. Most patients report a warm sensation and slight snapping feeling when the light energy hits the skin. You should notice an improvement in your dry eye symptoms after your first treatment, with the most significant benefits after a complete set of four treatments.
Dr. Kornmehl may recommend combining your OptiLight IPL therapy with LipiFlow treatments to express the oil from the blocked meibomian glands and restore normal oil flow and tear film sooner.
Contact Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates About Your Dry Eyes
If you struggle with dry eye symptoms, contact Dr. Kornmehl in Boston today to see if OptiLight IPL treatments are right for you. Call Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates at (877) 870-2010 or fill out our contact form.