Have you ever heard of IPL? It stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and it does amazing things! This technology is currently used in dermatology offices and medspas to smooth skin, treat acne, and remove blemishes, but there is also another surprising benefit from this tiny instrument...it's also a fantastic treatment for dry eye.

While having dry eyes isn't exactly life-threatening, it can definitely affect your QUALITY of life. We hear from many of you that you go through your day constantly bothered by your dry, irritated, red, scratchy eyes. You've tried artificial tears, fish oil, prescription eye drops, and warm compresses, and sometimes nothing seems to help. Many recent clinical studies show that IPL is not only better at treating the symptoms of dry eye but the effects last longer than traditional therapies.

ipl treatment

So how does it work? IPL works by targeting the tiny glands, called meibomian glands, that line your bottom lid and produce the oil component of your tears. In patients with chronic dry eye, often these meibomian glands are to blame. The energy from the IPL reduces inflammation of the glands and improves their function, which increases the amount of the oil component in the tear layer and more oil equals better lubrication of the ocular surface.

What do these treatments look like? The patient wears small protective goggles (like tanning bed goggles) and cooling gel is applied around the eye and cheek area. One treatment consists of about 6 pulses of light around each eye (the pulses do sting a little). The treatment takes about 10 minutes total and there is little to no downtime. It is recommended that patients get at least 4 treatments spaced 2-4 weeks apart.