IPL for Dry Eyes*

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy, a common dermatology treatment used to address rosacea, sun damage, and acne scarring of the skin, is now available to address chronic dry eye disease and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction of the eyelids. IPL Therapy for dry eye is one of the most groundbreaking approaches to treating dry eye disease.  Dry eye occurs when the quantity and, or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. Because treatment for dry eye is not one size fits all, clients may undergo several methods of treatment before finding one that provides the most comfort.

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Dry eye disease is one of the most common eye conditions that people experience across the country, affecting more than 100 million people worldwide. Tears are a very important component to healthy eyes. With every blink of your eyelids, tears are washed over your cornea, helping to lubricate the eye, wash away debris, prevent infection and keep your visual field clear. The tear film in our eyes is made up of a very complex composition of oils, mucin and liquids. In order for the tears to properly lubricate and protect our eyes, it’s important that each layer of our tear film has the correct proportion of each substance.

The new Treatment uses IPL therapy to reduce the discomfort of Dry Eye.

IPL is a painless procedure. First, the laser therapist applies IPL shields to protect the eyes from the light. Then a thin layer of cooling pad is applied to the treatment area. Next, a small handheld device is used to administer pulses of light to the eyelids and surrounding area. It is believed IPL improves the function of eye glands that help lubricate the eye. Hundreds of clients have reported their eyes feel better and their vision has improved after IPL therapy. Perhaps IPL is right for you, too.

How many treatments will I need?

Treatments are repeated once a month over the course of four months. Generally, four treatments at 4-week intervals are sufficient to produce good, stable results. Depending on the severity of the dysfunction, some patients may need fewer treatments while others may need more. After the initial treatment, many patients report some improvement in their symptoms. Studies have shown an objective increase in tear function after each treatment, with the maximum improvement happening after the fourth treatment. Patients need maintenance therapy on average once a year.

What results can I expect?

After the initial treatment, most clients report some improvements in their symptoms. Depending on the severity of the dysfunction, some clients may need fewer treatments, while others may need more. All clients need maintenance therapy at least once a year.

Home treatment options such as artificial tears, warm compresses, lid scrubs or medicated drops only treat the symptoms of dry eye, not the actual condition. So while they may offer temporary relief, they won’t make the problem go away.

How does IPL dry eye treatment help?

While treating clients for a facial a skin condition known as Rosacea, it was discovered that the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy also benefited those with Dry Eye Syndrome. The treatments affect the Meibomian glands, which keep the eye moist. IPL closes the blood vessels that transport inflammatory cytokines that cause chronic blockage of the glands. Once the glands are no longer inflamed or blocked, they start working again, creating a healthy, and stable tear film.

What can I expect during the treatment session?

The applicator is applied to the appropriate areas, and then easily tolerated brief pulses of light are emitted onto the skin. Treatment time is about 15 minutes. Immediately after treatment, the area is cleansed and clients can return to normal activities. The use of sunblock is recommended on any treated areas that may be exposed to the sun.

What are the Risks and Limitations of IPL treatment?

IPL has been considered a safe procedure worldwide. IPL only affects the targeted tissues and leaves the surrounding tissue intact. The only concerns would be short-term redness, bruising & short-term darkening of age spots. The skin that surrounds the pigmented lesion may become red immediately after treatment. Most people experience no other side effects and the redness usually disappears without hours to a few days. Very rarely a small blister may form or the skin may become temporarily lighter or darker. The main side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister).

What are post care treatments? Following the treatment, you need to wear sunscreen daily 3-4 weeks. For 2 days, avoid activities can increase skin temperature like sauna, hot tub, Jacuzzi, and high intense exercise. These activities can increase the redness and tingling after the treatments. Some kinds of mineral make-up will be applied immediately after your treatment and you can resume normal activities. There may be some slight redness or swelling for a few hours or, on rare occasions, a few days. Use Ice pack, moisturizer, and aleo vera gel to reduce them.

* The results may vary from person to person. 

DISCLAIMER: As for all images and all kind of laser services, individual outcomes, results and number of treatments recommended may vary based on individual client needs, medical history, and circumstances. COL clinic cannot guarantee exact or permanent results or cures.