Lumenis Optima™ Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) as a Chronic Dry Eye Treatment
Dry eyes can cause itchy, red and burning eyes. A common cause of dry eyes is chronic meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and associated ocular rosacea. MGD occurs when our meibomian glands (or oil glands) become clogged and affects the quality of the tears. If you need a quick refresher on MGD, read our previous blog to learn more about it.
Now let’s discuss rosacea and how it can cause dry eyes. Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects three million Canadians. Before COVID-19 and masks, you could probably tell if someone had rosacea because their cheeks and nose were more red or inflamed than the average person.
Rosacea that affects the central facial area is the most common type, but did you know rosacea also affects the eyes? This is known as ocular rosacea.
Just like facial rosacea, ocular rosacea is caused by the inflammatory skin disease. It creates abnormal blood vessels along the eyelid margin which release inflammatory agents. The eyelid inflammation causes dry eye symptoms such as redness and grittiness. The increased inflammation also negatively impacts the quality of the tears. Many patients with ocular rosacea also have concomitant MGD. Fortunately, there is a widely accepted treatment called Lumenis Optima™ IPL for inflammatory dry eyes and associated MGD.
What is Lumenis Optima™ IPL?
Lumenis Optima™ IPL has been used safely in the dermatology industry for several years. It’s widespread use ranges from decreasing skin pigmentation, fine wrinkles and rosacea treatment.
How does Lumenis Optima™ IPL help chronic dry eye?
Since the root cause of chronic dry eyes is inflammation, Lumenis Optima™ IPL targets and selectively absorbs the abnormal blood vessels and destroys them. As a result, this treatment effectively reduces the level of inflammatory agents along the eyelid margin.
Lumenis Optima™ IPL will also heats and liquefies clogged oil causing it to be more readily released into the tear film. With more oil being produced, it protects the tears will from evaporating or drying out as quickly.
Another method which Lumenis Optima™ IPL treats dry eyes is its ability to kill Demodex along the eyelid margin. Demodex are mites that burrow deep into the meibomian glands (or oil glands) and feed on the oil secretions. Many rosacea patients have an increasing amount of Demodex population which can cause obstruction of the oil glands and cause MGD.
Lumenis Optima™ IPL will gently and effectively treat eyelid inflammation with maximal safety, comfort and full customization to your skin type and condition.
Watch this video as it summarizes the benefits of Lumenis Optima™ IPL for chronic dry eye treatment.
Video on Lumenis Optima™ IPL
The Lumenis Optima™ IPL treatment process
Your dry eye doctor will apply coupling gel on the treatment area which includes gentle light pulses from cheek to cheek. For your eye safety, you will be wearing IPL protective goggles/pads during the treatment session.
Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes and during the treatment, you might experience a warm sensation as light is applied to the skin.
After the treatment, you will experience redness around the treatment areas that will usually subside within a few hours. Daily activities can be resumed the same day. It is advised to stay out of direct sunlight for a few days following the treatment and to apply sunscreen to protect the skin.
Skin and eyelid inflammation should be relieved within 1-2 treatments. Typically 4 sessions within 3-4 weeks in between are needed for optimal results. Following the full treatment session, your dry eye doctor will consult on possible maintenance sessions for optimal long term results (usually once every 6-12 months).
Lumenis Optima™ IPL is a revolutionary treatment for eyelid inflammation which may be the root cause of your dry eye symptoms.
If you have been suffering from dry eyes and feel like you want to take the next step in your eye care, contact your nearest MyDryEye doctor to see if they offer the Lumnis Optima™ IPL treatment.