Dry Eye Treatment with IPL

Millions of people suffer from dry eye, a condition in which the body does not produce sufficient tears to keep the eyes adequately lubricated. Common symptoms include itchy, burning or red eyes, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, frequent tearing and the sensation of something in the eye.
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Traditional dry eye treatments, such as special eye drops, ointments, warm compresses and eyelid massage, can help to alleviate symptoms, but there is a more promising and long-lasting solution.  The team at Metrolina Eye Associates has discovered that Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment significantly improves symptoms and addresses the cause of certain dry eye cases. IPL is a virtually painless procedure that provides immediate improvement with no downtime.

To discuss IPL for the treatment of dry eye, contact our board-certified ophthalmologists at Metrolina Eye Associates today.

More about Dry Eye

Tears are essential to preserve the health and function of the eyes. They protect the surface of the eye from bacteria, keep the eyes comfortably moist and wash away dust and debris. People with dry eye might not produce enough tears naturally (a condition called aqueous tear-deficient dry eye), or the tears they produce might be of poor quality (evaporative dry eye).

Many cases of evaporative dry eye are caused by malfunctioning meibomian glands. The meibomian glands play a key role in tear production — they secrete an oily substance that keeps tears from evaporating too quickly. Without the proper lipid layer, the tears evaporate too quickly. In other cases, the glands’ secretions become trapped within the glands, causing inflammation and buildup of bacteria.

How IPL Helps Dry Eye

IPL can be used to treat dry eye cases caused by dysfunctional meibomian glands. The treatment works by gently heating the meibomian glands. The heat causes blocked glands to open and stagnant secretions to clear. Studies have shown that tear function starts to increase after just one IPL treatment. The more severe the case, the more treatments needed.

What to Expect During IPL Treatment

First, the eye area is cleansed. Protective shields are placed on the eyes. A cooling gel is applied to the area to be treated. Using the IPL handpiece, one of our doctors will send shorts bursts of light to the lids. Each pulse may cause a slight sensation of heat. This means the meibomian glands are opening.

After treatment, the meibomian glands are gently drained  and the treated area is cleaned. No downtime is required; you can immediately return to your normal activities. If you go outside, sunscreen is recommended for the treated area.

IPL provides long-lasting relief from irritating dry eye symptoms. After the condition has normalized, periodic maintenance treatments might be helpful. Our eye doctors can help put together a plan of treatment after evaluating you personally during an in-office consultation.

Schedule an Appointment

If you would like to learn more about IPL for the treatment of dry eye, you can schedule an eye exam with one of our experienced eye doctors. If you live in the Matthews, Stallings or South Charlotte area of North Carolina, call our local office at (704) 234-1930. If you’re in the Monroe area of North Carolina, call our local office at (704) 289-5455. Our Indian Land office in South Carolina is now open and we’re accepting new patients! Call (803) 547-EYES (3937).