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    How IPL can help dry eye

     

    Anecdotally, many doctors were surprised to find their patients returning after facial treatment stating their dry eye symptoms had improved as well. By coagulating the telangiectasia, the associated inflammation around the vessel also resolved, seemingly resulting in a quieter ocular surface. Around 2012, pioneering ocular surface specialists adopted the technology to specifically treat ocular rosacea and associated ocular surface inflammation.

    The results have been impressive. A 2014 study2 of 100 patients diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye syndrome showed statistically significant improvement in lid edema, facial telangiectasia, lid vascularity, meibomian gland severity score, and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) score from pre-treatment measurements to final visit. Tear break-up time also showed a statistically significant improvement, as did the quality and quantity of meibomian gland oil secretion. On average, patients needed three to six treatments spaced four to six weeks apart.

    Related: The next frontier: Mobile eyecare clinics

    The exact method of action for why meibomian gland function improves is still unknown, but Dr. Adler discusses the common theory that the thermal effect of the pulsed light acts to melt and soften meibum as well as reducing the bacteria and parasitic load on the lid margin that might be exacerbating inflammation.

    Because IPL is not technically a laser treatment, state laws may allow easier adoption for optometrists.

    Whether you choose to investigate adding this treatment to your own in-office arsenal or establish a referral network with ophthalmologists, the potential for IPL to improve your patient’s ocular surface inflammation is an excellent new addition that deserves to be included in our mainstay dry eye protocol.

    References

    1. TFOS International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS II). Ocular Surf. 2017 Jul;15(6):269-650.

    2. Vora GK, Gupta PK. Intense pulsed light therapy for the treatment of evaporative dry eye disease.Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul;26(4):314-8.

    Listen to more audio content from Defocus Media and Optometry Times here

    Darryl Glover, OD
    Dr. Glover is a global optometrist, entrepreneur, and social media expert. He received his Doctorate of Optometry from Salus University. ...
    Jennifer Lyerly, OD
    Dr. Lyerly is a 2011 graduate of Southern College of Optometry. She founded Eyedolatry in 2011, a media platform dedicated to ...

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