Intense Pulsed Light: The Latest Treatment for Dry Eyes
In addition to various environmental conditions, dry eye syndrome can result from a number of different factors, including age, gender, hormonal changes, and certain medications. In fact, dry eye is a condition that affects approximately five million men and women. Here at Chester County Eye Care Associates, we provide a number of options to effectively treat dry eye and alleviate discomforting symptoms.
One of the newest treatments our practice offers for dry eye is Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL. IPL is a light-based therapy that targets the abnormal blood vessels in the eyelids and skin associated with eyelid inflammation and meibomian gland dysfunction. “The IPL superheats the meibomian glands behind the lashes so that the clogged glands can be opened up,” says our experienced ophthalmologist, Bruce I. Stark, MD. “This allows the formation of olive oil-like secretions which improves the tear film quality, so there is reduced evaporation of the tear film.”
IPL was originally developed for dermatological use to cosmetically treat age spots, sun damage, redness, and other skin conditions. The benefits of IPL for eye conditions were discovered when an ophthalmologist treating his rosacea patients found that many of his patients who had dry eye saw improvements of their symptoms, explains our LASIK surgeon, John J. DeStafeno, MD. “It’s a non-painful treatment performed by a medical doctor that directly addresses the malfunctioning glands which can lead to dry eye,” he says. “The procedure has a very high safety profile and virtually no downtime.” Additionally, IPL can reduce a patient’s dependency on the amount of eye drops required to relieve symptoms.