Is IPL Treatment good for dry eyes?

The best treatment by far for patients suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye Disease is Intense Pulsed Light treatment, or IPL. IPL treats the root cause of the disease, not just the symptoms.

IPL treatment has been used by Dermatologists and Aestheticians for the past 30 years. The goal of this treatment has been to remove skin blemishes such as sunspots, small blood vessels commonly called “spider vessels”, and unwanted hair follicles. When the treatment zone neared the eyelids, their patients reported a substantial improvement in their dry eye symptoms. In 2015, the first study on IPL specifically for Dry Eye Disease was conducted, and the researchers found substantial improvement in both the signs and symptoms of Dry Eye Disease in the treatment group. Since then, many more studies have been done, and it is quickly proving to be the most effective treatment we have for combating Evaporative Dry Eye Disease.

For a much more in depth look at the signs and symptoms of Evaporative Dry Eye Disease, please refer to THIS previous blog. As a quick recap, inflammatory biomarkers are released from the spider vessels found around the eyelids. This inflammation limits the amount of free-flowing, healthy oil that can be released from the meibomian glands in the eyelids. Further, bacteria and mites on the eyelid margin create a biofilm that also clogs the meibomian glands. When the meibomian glands become clogged, no oil is produced on the tear film, so your tears evaporate way too fast, causing signs and symptoms of Evaporative Dry Eye Disease.

IPL attacks Evaporative Dry Eye Disease multiple ways. During each treatment session, a high energy light is used to flash the treatment area on each lower eyelid. This high energy burst of light ablates the small spider vessels, or telangiectasia, that is found on the eyelids. When the telangiectasia is reduced, the inflammatory markers cannot be released, thus restoring healthy function to the meibomian glands. Also, this flash of light kills the bacteria and mites that make up the biofilm, further allowing the meibum to flow more freely.

Finally, IPL has the helpful side effect of making your skin look healthier, younger, and tighter by getting rid of unwanted skin blemishes. After all, Aestheticians have been using IPL solely for this purpose for years! Please read my next blog for what do expect during your IPL treatment for Dry Eye Disease at Peak Eyecare.