Having dry eyes is a very common problem and its causes can range from simple irritation to an eye condition called blepharitis. Both ailments can be extremely uncomfortable and bothersome, but they can easily be treated with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Therapy). This article will help you better understand this safe and effective treatment option and help you make the most informed decision at your next eye doctor appointment.
Dry eye can occur for several reasons, some of which include:
- wearing contact lenses
- hormonal changes
- arid climates
- prolonged exposure to a computer screen
Blepharitis is a common eye condition that can be caused by the reasons listed above, but it affects the eyelid, as opposed to the eye itself. It may start with the sensation that there is something in your eye and then develop into red irritation and crustiness on your eyelid. Fortunately, it is not contagious and is caused by bacteria in the eye. IPL is a procedure where your optometrist will use light therapy to administer pulses of light to the eye to treat both dry eye and Blepharitis. Here is what you need to know:
Light therapy vs. laser treatment: It is important to understand the difference between light therapy and laser treatments: IPL (light) therapy will use a variety of wavelengths of light on your eye, whereas laser treatment involves a single wavelength of light administered to the eye.
Using IPL over eyedrops: while eyedrops are an effective way to manage dry eye or blepharitis, this treatment will only treat the symptoms of the problem. IPL targets the root cause of the issue and will provide the long-term results you are looking for.
Treating the root of the problem: roughly 80 percent of dry eye conditions are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The meibomian glands are responsible for hydrating the eye and can be found along the upper and lower lash line inside your eyelid. When these become inflamed or irritated, they will not produce enough oil to hydrate your eye, causing dry eyes. IPL works by targeting the meibomian gland and clearing any blockages or build up that are causing discomfort.
Treat Your Dry Eye and Blepharitis in Calgary with IPL
IPL therapy is a non-invasive, safe, and effective treatment for dry eyes that will give you long-lasting results. Most patients can expect relief almost immediately resulting in a better quality of life, eye hygiene, and eye health for many years to come.
My Optometrist Calgary has three locations that offer comprehensive dry eye screening and treatment in Calgary and surrounding areas.
Q: Does IPL therapy hurt?
A: Your Calgary eye doctor will begin the procedure by applying a topical anesthetic to the eye and an eye shield will be placed on your eyeball for protection. Pulses of light will then be administered to the eye and a slight tingling sensation may occur followed by some redness, but no pain.
Q: How many treatments are required?
A: Most people will notice a dramatic improvement after the first or second treatment or IPL in Calgary, however up to 5 treatments (one month apart) may be required depending on the severity of the condition. Maintenance treatments may also be required once or twice a year.
Q: What are the risks associated with IPL?
A: IPL has been an effective procedure for many years, but as with any treatment, there can be risks associated with it. Some of these include allergic reactions, corneal abrasion/irritation, hypopigmentation, and infection. The use of protective shields drastically reduces any risk. Your Calgary Optometrist will go over the risks and benefits in more detail at your consultation.