Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Dry Eye Disease
Millions of people suffer from the symptoms of dry eye disease. Symptoms can include burning, itching, eye redness, watery eyes, a feeling like there is something stuck in the eyes, and pain. Over time, dry eye disease can even damage the surface of the eyes.
What causes dry eye disease?
Dry eye disease occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears produced aren’t of sufficient quality. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a common cause of dry eye. The meibomian glands are in the eyelids and produce an oily substance that helps to keep the tears from evaporating too quickly. When these glands become clogged or don’t function properly, it can lead to dry eyes.
Other causes of dry eye include certain medical conditions (such as Sjogren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis), certain medications (such as antihistamines or antidepressants), and environmental factors (such as prolonged computer use or living in a dry climate.
Intense pulsed light therapy
If you have tried other dry eye treatments but are still experiencing symptoms, intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) may be able to offer you the relief you have been looking for. Intense pulsed light therapy is a non-invasive treatment for evaporative dry eye disease and rosacea. During therapy, gentle pulses of light target the skin near the eyes to unclog meibomian glands.
Intense pulsed light therapy treats the root cause of dry eye, not just the consequences and symptoms. IPL works in many ways to help decrease inflammation caused by dry eye. The light energy warms the glands of the eyes and helps restore their function which in turn increases eye lubrication. The wavelength of light helps absorb unwanted dilated blood vessels with perpetuated inflammation, contributing to ocular surface issues. It also helps kill bacteria, including Demodex mites from the eyelashes which can add to dry eye symptoms.
Patients who have tried traditional dry eye therapies and are still struggling to get results may have improvement with IPL technology. Unlike other remedies, IPL treats dry eye at the source, offering long-term relief when compared to other treatment options that solely focus on treating symptoms. Studies show that 93% of people who received IPL therapy have noticed a decrease in the severity of their dry eye.
The procedure is relatively quick and easy. To achieve successful results, it is important to have 4 initial treatments, separated by 2-week periods. IPL generally has no side effects and patients can return to work or their daily activities immediately after treatment.