IPL Therapy For Dry Eyes
If you suffer from dry eyes, you know how uncomfortable and frustrating this condition can be. Dry eye can become a chronic condition, and the traditional blepharitis treatment of hot compress and lubricating eye drops may not be sufficient. Fortunately, treatment is available to help you alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. At Garibaldi Eye Care, we are proud to offer our patients advanced dry eye therapies – Forma-i Radio Frequency, and Lumecca Intense Pulsed Light. Below is some information to help you decide whether this therapy is the right choice for you, as well as to prepare for your treatment sessions.
What is Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?
IPL treatment is an innovative eye therapy that uses pulses of light to treat the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. These pulses of light are focused on the skin near your eyes in order to eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation. The light pulses can also unclog your meibomian glands and release any oil buildup. For many patients, this will result in symptom improvement.
How Can IPL Help with Dry Eyes?
IPL aims to treat dry eyes by addressing the underlying cause of this condition. In the majority of cases, dry eyes are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, which leads to dry eye syndrome.
The meibomian glands are oil glands found at the base of the eyelashes, as well as on the edges of the upper and lower eyelids. These glands are responsible for secreting meibum, which is an oil that coats the eyes and slows the evaporation of lubricating tears.
When the secretions from the meibomian glands become too thick, these glands can become blocked, which compromises the flow of oil. Without good oil flow, tears will evaporate more quickly than they should, causing dry eye syndrome.
When meibomian dysfunction is the cause of dry eyes, IPL can unclog the meibomian glands and restore normal oil flow. If dry eyes are caused by other issues, such as infection or inflammation, IPL may still be effective.
The IPL Procedure
The IPL procedure is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office. Prior to beginning the treatment, the doctor will place special shields over your eyelids to provide protection from the bright light. The doctor will also apply a gel to the sensitive skin near your eyes to prevent damage.
The doctor will use a small device to administer the pulses of light to the proper part of your eye. This device will be held over your eyelids during the procedure, and you may feel some heat from the light pulses. In some cases, the doctor may also express some oil from the meibomian glands in order to restore a normal flow.
Many patients notice that their dry eye symptoms have improved immediately after they have received their first IPL treatment. However, most doctors will still recommend additional treatments for patients with dry eyes in order to ensure the best results. Typically, at least four treatment sessions will be recommended. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments in combination with IPL.
InMode Forma-i Radio Frequency
Forma-i is a skin and tissue remodeling technology equipped with a subdermal heating applicator (see video above). Radiofrequency travels via electrodes to deliver a non-invasive and pain-free treatment, and its controls allow the device to reach optimal temperatures.
Radio Frequency aims to treat dry eyes by addressing the underlying cause. In the majority of cases, dry eyes are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, which leads to dry eye syndrome.
The meibomian glands are oil glands found along the upper and lower eyelids. These glands are responsible for secreting meibum, an oil that coats the eyes and slows the evaporation of lubricating tears.
When the secretions from the meibomian glands become too thick, these glands can become blocked. Without proper oil flow, tears evaporate more quickly than they should, causing dry eye syndrome.
Forma-i RF uses Radio-Frequency energy to heat the meibomian glands deeper than a hot compress can. This helps to unclog the glands. This heat also stimulates collagen formation, and brings white blood cells and stem cells to the skin. This helps heal the glands, to restore normal oil flow. It also helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes! If dry eyes are caused by other issues, such as infection with demodex or inflammation, Intense Pulsed Light may be used in conjunction.
What is Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment?
INMODE Lumecca Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL) is an innovative dry eye therapy that uses pulses of light to treat the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. IPL energy targets the inflammatory blood vessels on the eye lid margin. This works to reduce the inflammatory process and to stop the vicious cycle of inflammation, thereby reducing the need for eye drops and medications. IPL treats ocular rosacea, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and Inflammatory dry eye. It has been shown to decrease demodex and bacteria around the eyelids. The powerful bursts of light also close off blood vessels that release inflammation in ocular rosacea.
What Are the Side Effects of IPL for Dry Eye?
Like most treatments, IPL has a potential to cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of IPL include:
IPL Treatment Restrictions
IPL treatment is effective for most patients who have dry eye syndrome. However, this treatment option is not appropriate for everyone. You may not be a good candidate for IPL treatment if you:
Your doctor will perform a thorough assessment of your background, condition, and risk factors to help you determine whether IPL is the most appropriate treatment for your dry eyes.
How to Prepare for IPL Treatment
If your doctor determines that you are a good candidate for IPL therapy, your sessions will be scheduled as soon as possible. To prepare for your IPL treatment sessions, it is important to avoid any activity that could compromise the results of the session or put you at a higher risk of developing side effects.
To prepare for your session:
IPL and RF reverse the signs of ageing by stimulating collagen production by smoothing wrinkles and eliminate dark spots for younger looking eyes.
IPL therapy is an excellent option for many patients who struggle with dry eye syndrome. To learn more about IPL treatment, or for answers to other questions about your eye health, please contact the experts at Garibaldi Eye Care today.