Intense Pulsed Light therapy is often referred to as an IPL treatment. This type of therapy is often used by dermatologists to treat acne scars, sun damage and rosacea. You may not be aware IPL treatments are also very effective for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and chronic dry eye disease. This therapy is considered groundbreaking for the treatment of dry eye disease due to the effectiveness of the pulsed light treatment.
Hardened oils in the meibomian glands in your eyelids are released after being liquefied by the pulses of light used during your treatment. An IPL treatment additionally affects the inflammation and vascularization of your eyelids. This stimulates a much healthier gland function while decreasing the redness in your eyelids.
The Specifics of IPL Treatment
Your IPL treatment begins when shields are placed over your eyes to ensure they are protected from the pulses of light. The area being treated is then covered with a layer of cooling gel. The pulses of light are administered using a small device in the area surrounding your eyelids. These pulses of light assist in the heating, liquefaction and loosening of the oils responsible for clogging the meibomian glands in your eyelids.
Once your IPL treatment has been completed, Dr. Reena Patel will manually remove the oil from your glands to make certain the oil flow is normal in the tear film. One of the most important component in your tears is the oil. This is is what stops your tears from evaporating and helps prevent dryness.
You will most likely see an improvement in your symptoms after your first or second IPL treatment. Despite this, you will need to have a series of four initial treatments. In most cases, one treatment will be scheduled per month. The purpose of a four month treatment plan is to help ensure success for the long term in the treatment for both MGD or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and chronic dry eye disease.
Once you have finished your treatment, you will require occasional treatments for maintenance. The frequency will be dependent on the severity of your condition. In some instances, the IPL treatment is combined with other treatments for symptom relief and medication effectiveness. There are other types of treatments available for dry eye disease including eyelid scrubs, hot compresses and artificial tears. Unfortunately these types of treatments only provide relief of your symptoms temporarily and will not impact the root or cause of the disease.
The underlying cause of evaporative dry eye is MGD. IPL therapy was created to treat this disease by providing relief from your symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease. If you have already tried different treatments for your irritated and dry eyes with no relief, this may be the right treatment for you. The best way to proceed is to call for a consultation to determine if the IPL treatment may be effective for your specific condition and needs. Contact us today at the Wichita Vision Institute.