Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a relative newcomer to the treatment field. However, it is already successful in several therapies, including the treatment of eye conditions. Some of its profound successes are in treating evaporative dry eye and rosacea. Hence, you can consider IPL as a treatment option if you suffer from these two conditions.
How does it work in the treatment of dry eyes?
Dry eye is a condition that affects tear production. Your eyes will either produce low-quality or low-quantity tears. These issues make it difficult to lubricate the eyes and keep them safe from infections and damage.
The reasons for the low quality or low quantity of tears in your eyes can vary. IPL helps treat issues resulting from meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD causes inflammation that results in dry eye and cyclical inflammation. It is a vicious cycle that causes chronic dry eye.
Several factors can trigger meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), including eye inflammation, skin disorders, and microbial infections. These can result in increased meibum viscosity and hyperkeratinization of the ductal epithelium. It causes lower meibum production, giving a chance for bacteria to reproduce. They cause irritation on the eye surface that leads to inflammation. Without proper treatment, it exposes the cornea to more of the same as the cycle continues.
IPL uses light energy to treat MGD. The gentle light pulses target bacterial growth in the area around the eyes, reducing inflammation. It also breaks up oil buildup and other debris blocking the meibomian glands. IPL allows the flow of meibum, improving the quality of your tears.
The therapy is an outpatient procedure. It involves using a handheld device that releases light wavelengths between 550 to 1,200 nm. The doctor will start by protecting your eyes from the bright light, placing shields over them. They will also apply the cooling gel on the skin around your eyes. The gel protects this sensitive area from light energy.
The doctor adjusts the wavelength according to the severity of your condition. The gentle light pulses stimulate the normal flow of oil or meibum. They do this by melting the thick, crusty sections that block the meibomian glands.
The best results are after four IPL treatments over one month. However, you will find that your symptoms will improve after one or two sessions. The doctor will recommend more treatments if your condition is severe. You may need to return for more sessions after nine months. However, the time frame varies for different people.
IPL therapy allows you to return to your regular activities immediately after treatment. There are other benefits of the procedure apart from improving meibomian oil flow. They include:
Improving cellular functions in the eye. These include fibroblast regeneration and collagen synthesis
It introduces a neurotrophic effect on the eye surface and cornea
It has a neuroimmunomodulation effect on the meibomian glands, improving their function
For more information on IPL treatment, contact Chroma Optics at our office in Burlington, Vermont. Call (802) 497-1676 to book an appointment today.