Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) a laser-like device is now being used by Ophthalmologists to reduce your dependence on artificial tears, Restasis™, flax-seed oil, Omega-3 supplements, permanent punctal plugs, warm compresses, and oral Doxycycline.
This 5 minute, painless, non-invasive outpatient procedure requires no anesthesia, sedation, or pre-operative testing. Patients can drive and return to full activities immediately including unlimited exercise, swimming, and reading. There is no post-operative discomfort, no redness, and no decrease in vision.
Patients suffering from dry eye can require a number of modalities for relief. These are often expensive, inconvenient, disruptive and are only moderately successful. Some remedies have dangerous side-effects including susceptibility to infection, skin photosensitivity, alteration of serum levels of many common medications, inactivation of oral contraceptives, and yeast infections.
IPL is the answer for many patients who are still uncomfortable despite their use of multiple modalities to treat dry eye as well as those patients fed-up with the expensive and lifetime commitment to drops, pills, ocular appliances, warm compresses and supplements for relief.
Dry eye is not simply an inadequate volume of natural tears but also an inadequacy of the surfactant that allows those tears to wet the eye, resist evaporation, and retain stability. An improved surfactant lowers tear film surface tension and enhances the eye-tear interface. The lipid glands at the base of our eyelids (Meibomian glands) are the source of the surfactants needed to optimize our tear film.
Dr. Lewis applies IPL to the lower lids of both eyes once a month for 4 months to permanently improve the function of the Meibomian glands. The enhanced lipids are a much more effective surfactant and enhance tear function and reduce or eliminate dry eye symptoms.
Patients frequently recognize an improvement in symptoms after a single treatment. A permanent change in Meibomian gland function requires four monthly treatments the first year and a maintenance treatment once a year thereafter.