If your eyes are irritated, sensitive or burning then you could have dry eye disease. For patients with mild dry eye, their symptoms can simply be reduced by using preservative-free artificial tears (a.k.a. eye drops). However, if your symptoms are becoming constant and severe, then you may need advanced procedure-based treatments as recommended by your doctor.
The good news is that the technology for dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction has increased tremendously in the last few years. Today, we will discuss the best procedure-based treatments for dry eye.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
IPL has been used in the dermatology sector for hair removal, reduction of hyperpigmentation and reduction of acne scars. Most recently, it has been utilized in the dry eye world for its effectiveness against meibomian gland dysfunction and ocular rosacea.
IPL safely treats the root cause of ocular rosacea by reducing the levels of inflammatory agents along the eyelid margin. It can also heat and soften clogged oil glands for a healthier tear composition. You can read more about IPL and see if it’s the right treatment for you in our previous blog.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is one of the most common causes of dry eyes. LF is a specialized treatment that focuses primarily on the meibomian glands.
It is a safe in-office procedure that works by carefully applying consistent heat and pressure on your eyelids. The gentle massage pushes out the oils in your glands to protect your tears from evaporating quickly. . The heat and massage work to unblock any clogged meibomian glands. The procedure also rejuvenates glands that are functioning, getting them to produce more healthy oils to protect the surface of the eyes.
A cycle of LF includes a warming phase, a pulsation phase and a constant pressure phase. It is an effective treatment for evaporative dry eye disease. If you want more in-depth reading on LF then check out our blog here.
Video on LipiFlow®
Since the early 2000’s, RF has been utilized in the dermatology and aesthetics community to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Fast forward to the present time and RF is safely being used to treat MGD.
The main mechanism behind RF is its ability to stack large amounts of heat at an optimal temperature to melt the oil in the meibomian gland The heat delivered to the upper and lower eyelids along with the constant pressure will unblock the meibomian glands.
It’s duality of treating MGD and wrinkles has been an attractive procedure for patients who want to reduce their dry eye symptoms and fine lines. If you want to learn more about the procedure and it’s treatment process, you can read our previous blog here.
iLux® is the only handheld device that can treat MGD and it is engineered to heat and apply direct pressure to the eyelids. iLux® has specially designed eyelid smart tips to gently deliver heat to the blocked glands without harming the eye.
Usually it is performed by a dry eye doctor or a qualified technician and they have complete control over the device. The procedure itself takes about 8-12 minutes and both your upper and lower eyelids can be treated. Check out our blog on iLux® and discuss with your doctor to see if it’s the right treatment for your dry eyes.
Stop Dry Eyes Early — Start Treatment Now with a Dry Eye Doctor
That concludes our blog on the top procedure-based treatment for dry eye disease. Speak to an expert in the dry eye field to find out which procedure is better suited for your symptoms. You can take charge of your dry eye symptoms and get back to doing what you love without suffering throughout the day. If any of the aforementioned in-office treatments interest you then head over to our doctor locator and search by treatment type.