What is Intense Pulsed Light?
Many people who don't necessarily consider themselves to be regular 'Dry Eye Sufferers' are still all too familiar with the usual dry eye symptoms. Different individuals report varied experiences and symptoms, but the most common symptoms of dry eyes syndrome include burning eyes, itchy eyes or redness in the eyes.
Dr. Bruce Butts, OD of the Edmonton Dry Eye Clinic uses numerous treatment modalities and is very excited by our latest dry eye treatment, Eye-Light®, which combines Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and low-level light therapy (LLLT).
The treatment's purpose endeavors to remove inflammation that is built up in the eye. Generally, there is dysfunction in the Meibomian gland. Meibomian glands are responsible for the supply of meibum, an oily substance that prevents the evaporation of the eye's tear film. Meibum prevents tears spillage onto the cheek by trapping tears between the oiled edge and the eye. Unfortunately, the Meibomian glands can become blocked and when the Meibomian glands become clogged, the lubricating oils that are naturally secreted are unable to properly coat the eye, causing the moisturizing, helpful tear film to evaporate quicker.
This Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is one of the leading causes of dry eyes. There can also be inflammation in this area, causing ocular rosacea, which causes the oils in the eyes to become solid. Thus, the surface of the eye is not getting the necessary oil needed to keep the eyes moist.
Intense Pulsed Light helps by heating the skin around the eyes, preventing any inflammation. The Meibomian Glands then start to become dislodged of their solid oil and the tear flow resumes its natural and healthy routine. The oils are now liquid and clear.
IPL holds tremendous promise for not just healing the symptoms temporarily, but actually healing the cause and ridding yourself of the nuisance of dry eyes. IPL targets the blood vessels surrounding the oil-producing glands of the eyelids. It directly treats the primary cause of the condition and slows the progression of the chronic dry eye. With a few sessions of the IPL, you can start to feel pain-free.
Some of the common symptoms that have been associated with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction are red, itchy eyes, sometimes accompanied by altered vision. Many people report the sensation of having a foreign body in the eye or simply 'something is stuck in my eye'.
Some people note experiencing a sensitivity to light (photofobia). As with all dry eye-related symptoms, these problems are exacerbated in the winter particularly due to the dry air or higher winds or in the summer due to spending a lot of time in an air-conditioned environment.
Eye-Light® is an (intensive pulse light) IPL and low-level light therapy (LLLT), which combines light modulation with Optimal Power Energy (OPE). While IPL procedures generally require the regular application of gel during the treatment process, the unique and revolutionary cooling module in Eye-Light® simultaneously treats both the lower and upper eyelids without requiring gel.
As in IPL, Eye-Light® treats the Meibomian glands and specifically, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) by applying the intense light on the periorbital and cheekbone areas of the face. The intense light triggers the Meibomian glands to naturally stabilize and increase lipid production, reducing the fast evaporation of tears generally associated with MGD.
Eye-Light® is the only device to offer the simultaneous treatment synergy of applying IPL combined with LLLT. A noticeable and appreciable immediate benefit is that Eye-Light® does not require a gel application which is generally associated with IPL. The treatment generally improves the symptoms associated with MGD after a few hours. Additionally, Eye-Light® permits a treatment of both the upper and lower eyelids at the same time while many MGD treatments require separate treatments for upper and lower eyelids.
Also, whereas many MGD treatments may be classified as invasive, Eye-Light® is generally stress-free and non-invasive. This treatment has also been proven to reduce the incidence of Blepharitis and cysts by stimulating the patient’s own glands to produce the correct tear composition. Eye-Light® is not painful, it only lasts a few minutes (typically around 15 minutes) and affords an immediate return to normal activities. One of the immediately noticeable benefits that many people treated with Eye-Light® have reported is a reduction, and in some cases, a total cessation of necessity for eye drops.