We’ve used IPL for the past couple of years to treat dry eyes and have treated over 200 people. IPL has previously been used for hair removal and skin rejuvenation. It was when it was being used to treat rosacea that it was noticed that those client’s dry eyes were getting better. With further research and investigation appropriate wavelengths were found which worked most effectively on the meibomian glands.
We’ve had a lot of success with, for example, clients who’d had to give up wearing contact lenses now back wearing them. Generally, people feel that their eyes just feel more moist or like they’re younger! Frequently, post treatment, they are either reducing the amount and frequency of drops they need to use or giving up needing to use them altogether. In addition, people’s eyes are looking less red.
It is a very safe treatment which takes only a few minutes. The worst side effect we’ve noted is your skin feeling as if you’ve been in the sun but that subsides within a day. We generally recommend 3 sessions; day 1, day 15 and day 45. If the dry eye is quite severe but is responding to treatment we may add in one or 2 more sessions. A top up is needed once every 6 months.
It is not a treatment that is suitable for everyone. For example; if your problem is mainly aqueous deficiency then it’s not going to be very effective. Similarly, if you have certain general health issues or are taking some specific medications it won’t be an option for you.
IPL works best when part of an overall dry eye treatment program.