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Intense Pulse Light (IPL) and Its Dry Eye Benefits

Drs Silani & Younany - Lumenis IPL & Dry Eye Benefits

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) has a strong history in the aesthetics and dermatology fields for its anti-aging properties also known as photo-rejuvenation (photo-facial). Its benefits have included strengthening collagen in the skin as well as treating age spots, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

What is the role of IPL in Dry Eye?

Although IPL started in dermatology for rosacea, these patients began to feel improvements in their dry eye symptoms. This was further studied in more detail over the past decade, and we now have over 40 peer reviewed papers on IPL and its positive impact on dry eye patients. In fact, our advanced dry eye center has safely & successful used Lumenis IPL with OPT technology for over 3 and a half years. (Side Note: Lumenis has the first and only IPL FDA approved for dry eye).

Who will benefit from IPL?

Patients with dry eye disease, blepharitis, MGD, ocular rosacea, and those with styes/chalazions.

How does it work? 

IPL vaporizes or cauterizes the abnormal vessels (or telangiectasia) at or under the surface of the skin. Those collateral vessels feed the telangiectasia on the eyelid margin commonly found in patients with ocular rosacea. Those abnormal blood vessels leak inflammatory mediators which in turn contribute to the obstruction of the Meibomian Glands (MGs). 

What's the Goal of IPL?

IPL is a holistic approach to targeting the root cause of dry eye. By cauterizing those feeder vessels, we tend to see reduction in the inflammatory cascade and a reduction of the telangiectasia on the eye lid margin. Therefore, improvement in obstructive MGD.

What are the full Ocular Aesthetic benefits of IPL?

The ocular benefits include stimulating the oil glands, reducing inflammation, and eradicating demodex mites. The aesthetic benefits (as mentioned above) include tightening the collagen in the skin as well as treating age spots, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Is it safe?

The main side effect is temporary redness that commonly resolves within 30 minutes. There is no downtime, and the treatment comfortably takes approximately 3-5 minutes.  

Author
Dr Kambiz Silani Chief Clinical Director

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