Kirk Eye Center offers a wide range of treatments to address dry eye syndrome. In order to provide you with the latest and most advanced options, we are proud to offer IPL treatment as a new alternative.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy has been used to treat a variety of common dermatology conditions for years. Recently, this technology has also proven to be highly effective at alleviating dry eye syndrome. In clinical studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic, 89% of patients experienced significant relief from dry eye symptoms after undergoing IPL treatment.
How Does IPL Treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome Work?
While many other treatment options address the symptoms without correcting the underlying cause of your dry eyes, intense pulsed light (IPL) technology targets Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), a condition which is responsible for roughly 85% of dry eye cases. By focusing on the root cause of the issue, IPL therapy is able to provide more long-term relief than can be achieved with other treatments.
The Meibomian gland is responsible for producing the oily outer layer of tear film, which protects the watery (aqueous) layer of your tears. When MGD develops, this gland becomes blocked, resulting in an insufficient amount of oil on the outer layer of your tear film. This causes the water content in your tears to evaporate at excessive levels, producing the uncomfortable symptoms you experience as part of dry eye syndrome.
During IPL therapy, pulsed light energy is used to liquefy and release the hardened oils blocking your Meibomian glands. In addition, IPL technology can reduce eyelid inflammation and stimulate healthy gland function. This allows the oil produced by the gland to flow properly, preventing unnecessary evaporation of the aqueous layer of your tear film.
Benefits of IPL Treatment
You’ll experience the following benefits when you treat dry eye syndrome using IPL therapy:
- Addresses the root cause of the condition for long-term relief
- Improved eye comfort
- Clearer vision
- Reduced dependence on eye drops
- Minimal downtime allows you to resume normal activities right away
Your IPL Procedure
Dr. Asay will place shields over your eyes to provide protection from the pulsed light energy and apply a thin layer of ultrasound gel underneath your eye to soothe the skin. Pulsed light energy is administered around your eyelids using a small, handheld device in order to heat, liquefy and loosen any oils causing the Meibomian glands in your eyelids to become clogged. This entire procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete.
After this treatment, a Meibomian gland expression is performed. During this process, Dr. Asay uses small, paddle-shaped devices to compress your lower eyelid, facilitating the flow of oil from your Meibomian glands. This will help restore the proper levels of oil to the outer layer of your tear film, which will prevent the water evaporation which led to your dry eye symptoms.
In order to achieve the best possible results, you will most likely need to undergo an IPL treatment once a month for about four months. After this, Dr. Asay may recommend ongoing maintenance treatments, spaced out every 6-12 months, to ensure proper oil flow from your glands long-term. This will help prevent your dry eye symptoms from returning.
Contact our Loveland Ophthalmologist
Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call 970-669-1107 today to schedule a dry eye consultation. We serve patients in Loveland, Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado.