Patients suffering from rosacea, spider veins, and other dermatological conditions have found relief with intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy for years, but ophthalmologists have recently begun using this technology to help improve the lives of those suffering from certain dry eye symptoms.
About Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
As the name implies, intense pulsed light therapy uses short pulses of high-intensity light in order to provide some therapeutic benefit to a patient. In the world of eye care, IPL can be used to treat meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), the underlying cause behind many cases of dry eyes.
You can read more about MGD in our article on dry eyes, but in short, it’s what happens when the meibomian glands–tiny glands in the eyelids that help make the lubricating, oil-containing layer of tears–get clogged and prevent these tears from getting to your eyes.
How Can IPL Help?
The light used in intense pulsed light therapy ablates, or burns away, unwanted tissue and other materials. In this case, IPL destroys whatever is blocking your meibomian glands and any bacterial growth in and around the area. This both clears the path for lubricating tears to make it to the surface of your eye and reduces inflammation that may be contributing to the blockage.
In this way, IPL treats the underlying cause of dry eyes, instead of simply adding artificial tears or supplements to make up for the natural lack of lubrication.
How Does IPL Work?
If you and your eye doctor agree that intense pulsed light therapy for dry eyes is the right course of action for you, you’ll visit one of our locations where our highly trained staff will:
- Cover your eyes with protective goggles
- Place cooling gel on the area around your eyes
- Position the IPL device and begin the process of removing the buildup blocking your meibomian glands
- Stimulate your eyes to express a small amount of oil and kickstart the natural production of lubrication
After treatment, it will be safe to immediately resume your normal activities. You should begin to see results after 1 or 2 treatments, but you may need additional treatments in order to receive the full benefits of intense pulsed light therapy.
If you have questions about your eyesight or want to learn more about intense pulsed light therapy, schedule a visit with Eyesight Associates.
At Eyesight Associates, our doctors perform comprehensive eye exams to uncover the health of your eyes and vision. We’ll inform you of the state of your eyes and help you choose the best course of action with your health, if necessary. Schedule your exam with us today: 478-923-5872.