IPL, also known as intense pulsed light or photofacial, is a treatment used by our optometrists to treat certain eye conditions, including dry eye. If you are experiencing any eye irritation or similar symptoms, visit us at Arena Eye Care Optometry in Sacramento, CA, to learn more about IPL therapy so we can provide you with better comfort.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye syndrome ranges from mild to severe. Mild cases can often be treated with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops. More severe cases require treatment from our optometrists.
In addition to IPL, our optometrists may prescribe special eye drops, supplements or topical treatments to assist. Some symptoms of dry eye include dryness and a gritty feeling in the eyes. You may also experience redness, irritation, burning, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision. The condition can also cause excess tearing and mucus in or around the eyes, which occurs when your eyes attempt to compensate the dryness.
How Does IPL Therapy Work?
IPL therapy has been used by dermatologists for decades to treat crow’s feet, rosacea, and inflammation. Our optometrists have found that IPL is also beneficial for treating the root causes of dry eye. IPL Therapy utilizes pulses of light that penetrate into the skin. Our goal with IPL is to make your eyes feel more comfortable and to make you less dependent on drops or other ongoing forms of treatment. That fact that your skin looks younger and has less blemishes is a nice side benefit.
Conditions Treated by IPL
Blepharitis is one condition that can be treated with IPL. This condition causes irritation and inflammation of the eyelids, and the inflation can be reduced by IPL. It can also kill microbes that may be responsible for eyelid swelling.
MGD, or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, is a common cause of dry eye syndrome. It occurs when the meibomian glands, which produce the oil that lubricates the eyes, aren't functioning correctly. This leads to dry eyes because the oil is insufficient or poor quality. IPL therapy works as a dry eye therapy because it can liquefy hardened oil that clogs the meibomian glands, which helps it flow more easily to the eyes. It also warms the glands and surrounding skin so the oil can be expressed more easily.
Ocular Rosacea is another condition associated with dry eye that can be treated with IPL. This condition causes inflammation and redness in your eyes and face. The therapy helps reduce the inflammation, redness, and unhealthy blood vessels near the eye. That greatly improves the look of your eyes and lids, but also makes them feel much more comfortable. MGD tends to accompany Ocular Rosasea, so IPL improves lid health markedly with these people. These eyes also tend to feel far less dry after IPL.
What to Expect During IPL Treatment
IPL treatment typically takes between 10 to 30 minutes per session. During the treatment, you may feel a warm sensation or some temporary stinging and your skin may be a little hypersensitive after, but should feel smooth. Depending on the underlying cause and severity of your condition, you typically need four sessions to get a long lasting effect from the treatment. Having said that, people often start to feel better after only a couple treatments.
Visit us for Treatment Today!
If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, contact us at Arena Eye Care Optometry in Sacramento, CA. Our experienced optometrists Dr. Krister L. Holmberg and Dr. Shephali Patel are happy to perform an eye exam and provide a diagnosis and treatment that can relieve your discomfort.