Those who suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) are likely familiar with the temporary relief brought by products such as eye drops or artificial tears, but did you know there is a new technology that can relieve your dry eyes for long periods of time? IPL was originally developed to treat aging skin by reducing wrinkles and sun spots, but it was soon realized that this technology could be used in the reduction of DES symptoms. The treatment has been shown to be highly effective, with an approximately 93% satisfaction rate. If you suspect that you are suffering from DES, consider IPL treatment for long lasting relief.
Dry Eye Syndrome Treatments And The Lasting Effects Of IPL
What is DES?
Dry Eye Syndrome, or DES, is a condition in which the eyes do not have sufficient lubrication. This can be because the eyes do not produce enough tears or it can be because the tears that are produced are inadequate in their composition. Tears are not just water; they contain electrolytes, proteins, lipids, and mucins that help keep the eyes lubricated and clear of irritants. Symptoms of DES include:
- Eye redness
- Excessive tearing
- Burning sensation
- Sensitivity to light
- Aching sensation
- Eye irritation or fatigue
- Scratchy and itching feeling
- Blurred vision
- Mucus buildup
- Low tear production
What Is IPL?
Intense Pulsed Light Treatment (IPL) is a treatment that uses a pulse of light to release oils in the meibomian glands in the eyelids. When the meibomian glands are blocked (which is called meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD), the eyes do not receive enough oils to maintain lubrication, which often leads to DES. During an IPL treatment session, the eye doctor will place a protective shield over your eyes, spread a cooling gel under your eyes, and deliver small pulses of light around your eyelids using an IPL implement. This will stimulate the hardened oils in the meibomian gland and clear blockage.
How Long Does Treatment Last?
The sessions needed for IPL only take about 10 to 15 minutes and most people require at least 3 sessions although this depends on the severity of the DES. The results of this treatment last anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. You may need occasional maintenance, but it will be in the form of quick treatment
Other DES Treatments.
IPL is not the only treatment solution available, but it is the longest lasting. Many sufferers of DES will use artificial tears, warm compresses, eyelid scrubs, or punctal plugs. This procedure clears the tear duct by threading a small tube through the puncta, which are the holes in the corner of the eye. This procedure takes about an hour and typically keeps the tear duct open for 3 to 6 months.
Choose IPL From The Experts At My Optometrist In Calgary
Although IPL does not offer a permanent solution to Dry Eye Syndrome, it is a non-invasive treatment that offers a long lasting solution that outperforms other dry eye relief options. Those suffering from DES should contact the My Optometrist Dry Eye Clinic in Calgary to schedule an eye exam and consult with our Calgary optometrists about IPL. You can either call 1-403-256-0606, fill out the contact form, or visit one of our two Calgary locations in Sunridge or Sundance or our Three Hills Location to discuss your eye health and schedule an eye exam. As one of Calgary’s leading optometry clinics for over 35 years, we’ll help you get back to seeing clearly and comfortably.
Q: Does IPL treatment hurt?
A: IPL is non-invasive. You may experience slight discomfort and redness in the treated areas, but same-day recovery is normal. Your optometrist will advise you of the possible side effects such as:
- Mild mucus discharge
- Slight inflammation
- Lightening of the skin for darker-toned individuals
- Slight discomfort
- Minimal redness
- Possible hair loss at brow and forehead.
These symptoms will go away shortly post-treatment.
Q: What should I do if I think I have Dry Eye Syndrome?
A: For immediate relief you can get over the counter eye drops or artificial tears. If your eyes are irritated, try not to rub them, as this will amplify the irritation. After this, book an appointment with the team at the My Optometrist Dry Eye Clinic either in Calgary, Sunridge, NE, Sundance, SE, or Three Hills, AB. Our knowledgeable team will help you figure out your diagnosis, the severity of your DES, and what steps to take next.
Q: How should I prepare for my IPL procedure?
A: Take these steps to prepare:
- Avoid too much sun exposure.
- Remove makeup and other skin products from skin.
- Do not expose your skin to UV light and other artificial products before and in between treatments.
- Avoid exfoliating or peeling masks prior to appointment.
- Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen for a week prior to your appointment.
- Keep the area clean and dry.