Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment
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, and the advanced dry eye clinic at The Eye Institute of Utah is home to Utah’s first Intense Pulsed Light treatment system approved for treating the condition!
Intense Pulsed Light treatment for dry eye utilizes pulses of light to liquefy and release hardened oils that have clogged meibomian glands in the eyelids. IPL also affects vascularization and inflammation of the eyelids, reducing eyelid redness and stimulating healthy gland function. Your doctor will begin your IPL treatment by placing shields over the eyes to protect them from the light pulses. Then, a thin layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area and a small device is used to administer the pulses of light to the area around the eyelids. The pulses of light help heat, liquefy, and loosen oils that have clogged the eyelids’ meibomian glands. After the IPL light treatment is complete, one of our experienced eye doctors is able to manually express oil from the glands and restore normal oil flow in the tear film. Oil is a very important component of the tears and prevents the tears from evaporation, which can lead to dryness.
Although many people notice improvement in dry eye symptoms after their first or second treatment, your doctor will recommend an initial series of four IPL treatments, performed once a month over the course of four months. This initial treatment bundle is designed to help with long-term success in treating both chronic dry eye disease and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), the root cause of dry eye disease.
After the initial series of IPL treatments, most people will need only occasional maintenance treatments, depending on the severity of their dry eye condition. Your doctor may also recommend combining IPL treatments with other dry eye therapies such as LipiFlow®, punctal plugs, or medications to maximize effectiveness and enhance symptom relief.
Why Consider IPL Treatment?
Many common treatments for dry eye disease – such as artificial tears, hot compresses, and eyelid scrubs – focus on temporarily relieving symptoms instead of on treating the cause of the condition. IPL therapy is designed to address Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), the root cause of evaporative dry eye. By focusing treatment on MGD, your doctor is able to not only offer symptom relief, but also to slow the progression of your chronic dry eye condition.
If you have tried various forms of treatment and medications for your dry, irritated eyes with little success or relief, then the advanced dry eye clinic at The Eye Institute of Utah may have a better solution for you. Call to schedule your dry eye examination today!