In many cases, the cause of dry eyes is related to dysfunction of the oil glands within the eyelids. These glands are located directly behind your eyelash line and there are approximately 20 of them per eyelid. These glands and the surrounding skin can become inflamed for various reasons such as the buildup of bacteria and other organisms and the development of microscopic abnormal blood vessels. This problem typically worsens unless the inflammatory cycle is controlled and the organisms are eliminated.
Lumenis Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-invasive treatment for skin and eyelid inflammation, which in many cases is the root cause of the dry eye problem. Light pulses penetrate the tissues near the eyelid glands, targeting the abnormal blood vessels that are contributing to the inflammation. The body’s natural reaction to the treatment removes the abnormal vessels and heals the inflammation threatening the skin and eyelid. IPL has also been shown to reduce or eliminate bacteria and other organisms and can even be used for treating styes (chalazion or hordeolum) and rosacea.
To ensure utmost comfort, your physician will apply coupling gel on the treatment area. For your eyes’ safety, you will be wearing IPL protective goggles/pads and/or corneal light shields during the whole treatment session. During the treatment, you might experience a warm sensation as light is applied to the skin, but the treatment is gentle and should not feel uncomfortable.
Immediately following treatment, you may experience some redness around the treated areas that will usually disappear within a few hours. In most cases, makeup may be applied immediately and daily activities can be resumed the same day. You will be advised to stay out of direct sunlight for a few days following the treatment. Sunscreen should be applied before you go outdoors.
Some patients may notice a benefit after only one treatment but most will require at least 2 treatments before noticing improvements in their symptoms and typically 4 treatments are required for a maximum effect. Approximately 80% of patients will benefit from IPL so not everyone will experience a positive effect. Treatments are applied approximately 2 weeks apart and take only about 10 minutes each although you should anticipate a total appointment time of 30 minutes. For ongoing maintenance, an annual session will typically be needed.