IPL offers a multifaceted approach to combating dry eye by addressing its underlying causes:
Photocoagulation: IPL therapy effectively closes the abnormal blood vessels that perpetuate inflammation, particularly in patients with facial or ocular Rosacea.
Photorejuvenation: The treatment also rejuvenates skin cells, promoting healthier eyelid margins.
Meibomian Gland Restoration: IPL opens up the meibomian glands and liquefies the hardened oils within, which are later manually expressed by your optometrist.
The beauty of IPL therapy lies in its speed and effectiveness. Most patients notice an improvement in their dry eye symptoms within hours of their first treatment. Each patients dry eye is different, some patients will only need one treatment and then an annual top-up session, while others may require 4-6 IPL treatments, spaced 4 weeks apart. After these initial treatments, patients often enjoy relief for up to a year, requiring only an annual top-up treatment. In some cases your eye doctor may combine IPL with other treatments or a home care regimen.
IPL has been shown to be an effective treatment of dry eye across 23 different studies. In this analysis, 23 studies were included to assess the effectiveness of IPL in addressing MGD. The results revealed that IPL demonstrated positive outcomes, leading to symptom improvement in 96% of the studies (22 out of 23), enhanced tear stability in 87% of the studies (20 out of 23), and improved meibomian gland function in 87% of the studies (20 out of 23) as well. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9362510/)
IPL treatment doesn't just provide relief; it actively targets the root cause of dry eye by:
Restoring Meibomian Glands: IPL improves meibomian gland morphology and
Unlike more traditional treatments like eye drops that merely offer temporary relief, IPL therapy stands out by targeting the root cause of dry eye. It enables the meibomian glands to secrete oils naturally and resume their moisturizing function, not just relieving symptoms but also slowing the progression of chronic dry eye. While there are other effective dry eye treatments, the best technology for you is the one that your eye doctor recommends after a thorough dry eye evaluation.
If you've tried various treatments and still grapple with dry eye, it's time to explore the transformative potential of IPL therapy.
Before embarking on your IPL treatment journey, a few important preparations are in order. First and foremost, shield your skin from extended sun exposure for about 3-4 weeks leading up to your appointment. This includes steering clear of tanning beds and tanning lotions. Additionally, discontinue the use of skincare products containing Retin-A, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, or Vitamin C for one week before and one week after your treatment. Lastly, always keep us updated if there have been any changes in your health history or medications before each session. This ensures that we can tailor your treatment to your specific needs.
On the day of your IPL treatment, here's what you can expect. Arrive with a clean face, ideally without any creams or makeup in the treatment area. We'll ensure your face is thoroughly cleaned using a gentle micellar wipe before the treatment begins. Plan for the session to last approximately 45-60 minutes, so you have ample time. For our records, we'll take some photographs before commencing the treatment. During the session, your eyes will be carefully protected with goggles and eyeshields, while a special gel is applied to your face. The treatment process will begin with test spots to determine the energy level, which may be adjusted with each subsequent session. Do expect a noticeable flash of light with each pulse, though your eyes will be safeguarded throughout.
Caring for your skin post-IPL treatment is vital for optimal results and comfort. You may experience some skin sensitivity, warmth, redness, and possibly swelling, which should diminish within hours to a few days after the treatment. Your skin may also feel akin to a mild sunburn for a few hours, and applying aloe vera or Aquaphor can help alleviate any discomfort. If necessary, a clean cold washcloth can be used on the treated area, but avoid using ice packs. Should itching occur, an over-the-counter topical Hydrocortisone cream can provide relief. In the days following your treatment, you may notice sun spots and age spots temporarily darkening, with pigmented areas possibly crusting and flaking. Be sure not to pick, rub, scrub, or exfoliate during this healing process. When bathing, stick to lukewarm water and refrain from hot showers or baths until your skin has fully healed. Saunas and hot tubs should also be avoided during this time. Makeup can be applied post-treatment unless your skin is broken, irritated, or inflamed. Be gentle to prevent further irritation. Physical activities, particularly strenuous exercises, should be postponed for at least 24 hours following your treatment. Lastly, it's imperative to steer clear of sun exposure during the first 48 hours post-treatment. Extended sun exposure or tanning may lead to unwanted hyperpigmentation. Regularly apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, wear protective gear like a hat and sunglasses when outside, and keep the treated area out of direct sunlight for at least 4 weeks after the treatment. These steps will help you achieve the best possible results and maintain the health and beauty of your skin.