Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is perhaps best known for treating dermatological conditions like rosacea, visible veins and wrinkles. Ophthalmologists use the light therapy to soothe the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye disease. In Dr. Ernest Kornmehl’s practice, many of our dry eye patients are able to take back control of daily life thanks to IPL. If you are struggling with the unrelenting symptoms of dry eye, read on as Dr. Kornmehl explains why you should consider IPL, combined with LipiFlow.
Treats the Root Cause
IPL addresses one of the root causes of dry eye: inflamed blood vessels that contribute to meibomian gland dysfunction. The meibomian glands supply the oily layer of the tear film that allows tears to “stick” to the ocular surface. But these glands can become obstructed with hardened oil deposits, worsened by inflammation. With the tear film lacking the oily layer it needs, the tears evaporate rapidly off the surface of the eyes. As a result, the eyes dry out and burn or feel itchy and gritty.
IPL uses light to target these abnormal blood vessels. The heat response generated by the light prompts the blood vessels to close; the body then removes the vessels and heals the inflammation. This allows the meibomian glands to function normally.
Another way IPL can help dry eye is by destroying Demodex mites, which have been known to cause or contribute to dry eye symptoms.
Easily Tolerated Treatment
IPL is a drug-free, drop-free treatment that is very well tolerated by patients. Treatment can be conveniently performed in our office in approximately 15 minutes. A coupling gel helps cool and protect the skin in the treatment area, and the eyes are protected with special pads.
As the IPL applicator is passed over the skin, a light snapping sensation may be felt, but it is not painful. Generally two passes are made with the IPL applicator to evenly treat the eyelid area.
LipiFlow treatments should be combined with IPL to melt and express the oily deposits blocking the meibomian glands. LipiFlow only takes 12 minutes.
No Downtime, and Rapid Results
Not only is IPL treatment quick and well-tolerated, it does not require any downtime. You can immediately resume your normal activities as long as you do not expose the treated area to the sun. You should also avoid hot baths, showers or saunas for a week after treatment, as humid environments can irritate the treated area.
Patients require a series of four treatments, spaced three to five weeks apart. Our patients generally start to see an improvement in dry eye symptoms after only one or two treatments.
Get Relief Now With IPL
If you are interested in learning more about IPL for dry eye and whether you are a suitable candidate, Dr. Kornmehl invites you to schedule a consultation at our practice today.