Targeted In-Office Dry Eye Therapies
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL therapy uses short, intense pulses of light to target the small blood vessels around the Meibomian glands in the lids, which are responsible for keeping the eye surface lubricated. Originally developed for the treatment of rosacea, IPL was shown to improve Meibomian gland function and reduce dry eye symptoms. Treatment protocol involves an initial series of four IPL treatments, which may be combined with Lipiflow. After each IPL treatment, the doctor expresses the Meibomian glands in each lid, clearing them of any blockages.
IPL has additional benefits, including:
- Reduction in age spots
- Reduction in small blood vessels on the face ‘spider veins”
- Reduced freckles
- Reduced sunspots
The first series of IPL requires four treatments approximately one month apart. Single re-treatments are often recommended 6-12 months after the initial series to keep inflammation under control.
Using small, soft applicators, the Lipiflow device warm the lids to a perfect 42.5ºC and gently massages the lids using a patented pattern of pulses. This treatment, which takes about 12 minutes to complete, unclogs the Meibomian glands to offer long term relief of dry eye symptoms due to Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Lipiflow is conducted in a single treatment, and is shown to improve symptoms in 85% of cases. The effect can last 12-24 months, with some patients benefitting from repeat treatments in the future to maintain good eyelid function and comfort. Lipiflow can be combined with IPL if recommended by your optometrist.
Punctal Plugs & Prescription Drugs
If your eyes do not produce enough of the watery component of tears, punctal plugs can be used to slow the drainage of your tears and keep them on your eye surface longer. Medications like Restasis, Cequa, and Xiidra may also be prescribed to increase your tear volume.