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4 Reasons You Should Choose Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for Dry Eye

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women experiencing dry eye and touching eye for comfort while working in office sitting

If you struggle with dry eye, you may have already looked at a number of different strategies to help manage your symptoms. Some of these could have been eye drops, heated masks, or even Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, but have you ever considered in-office treatments?

At Foresee Eyecare, we offer several different types of in-office dry eye strategies, including intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy. IPL therapy first became prominent as a popular cosmetic treatment used to help manage concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and freckles. Over time, though, optometrists discovered that IPL therapy can also be an effective dry eye treatment.

Since then, optometrists from all over North America have adopted IPL technologies to help their patients comfort their eyes and enjoy their vision. But why has IPL become so popular as a dry eye treatment? 

Today, we’ll look at the 4 most common reasons why you should choose IPL therapy to help manage dry eye symptoms. If you’re interested in the treatment, why not give our team a call today to book an appointment? We’ll be happy to walk you through everything you need to know about the treatment and develop the best strategy for achieving the comfortable eyes you deserve.

Take a look at our other dry eye treatments by visiting our Dry Eye Therapy page today!

#1. It Treats The Most Common Cause of Dry Eye

There are 2 different types of dry eye syndrome, but the most common is known as evaporative dry eye. Evaporative dry eye is characterized by your tears not having the oil content needed to keep your tear film from evaporating too quickly, which can make your eyes feel irritated and uncomfortable.

One of the most common causes for this version of dry eye is an eye condition known as meibomian gland dysfunction, also known as MGD. 

Meibomian glands are located on the ridges of your eyelids, and they help comfort your eyes by producing the oils your tears need to keep them from evaporating. However, if they develop an obstruction or infection, it can affect the flow of oils to your tear film, leading to dry eye.

IPL therapy directly addresses this issue by using precise heat to melt away blockages and restore the flow of oils to your tear film.

#2. The Process Is Safe & Quick

A common reason why people may choose an at-home dry eye remedy is because they can fit them into their schedule a little easier. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a bustling professional, you want your dry eye treatments to fit around the time you have and not the other way around.

Thankfully, IPL therapy is a quick, non-invasive process with almost no downtime. Depending on how severe your dry eye symptoms may be, our team can complete your IPL treatment session in as little as 10 minutes! After your session, you can go back to your regular activities.

Some people may experience some minor side effects after their treatment, but these are normal and should subside in a few hours. These symptoms can include:

  • Slight redness
  • Some swelling
  • Sensitivity

During your session, we’ll apply some cooling gel around your eyes and face and have you wear protective sunglasses to help mitigate the risk of side effects so you can get back to enjoying your vision comfortably.

#3. Enjoy Long-Lasting Results

IPL therapy is also very popular with people who struggle with chronic dry eye symptoms. Through a series of 3 or 4 treatment sessions (depending on how severe your symptoms may be), you could enjoy comfortable vision for up to 9 months or even longer before needing another IPL treatment to maintain your results.

Most people experience a difference in their eye comfort after their first or second appointment, but the third or fourth session can help ensure the results last an extended period of time.

Women receiving IPL treatment for dry eye comfort

#4. IPL Easily Combines with Other Dry Eye Strategies

IPL may also be a great option if you need to use other strategies or treatments to help keep your eyes comfortable.

For example, we may include a meibomian gland expression following your treatment to help remove any internal blockages your meibomian glands may have. If you also experience blepharitis or struggle with bacteria build-up on your eyelids, we may recommend a ZEST eyelid debridement to help clean away bacteria before we use IPL therapy to address your symptoms.  IPL can also be combined with radiofrequency (RF) to achieve maximal efficacy for more severe dry eye diseases.

In some cases, we may recommend eye drops or supplements to help promote the healthy flow of oils to your tear film.

To see how we can develop a unique dry eye strategy to help meet your needs, please call us today to book your appointment. Our team is ready to help you see and feel your best.

Written by Dr. Timothy H. Tsang

Dr. Timothy Tsang obtained his Doctorate of Optometry, graduating cum laude from the Illinois College of Optometry. He completed clinical externships with honours in hospitals across the United States as well as abroad in Australia. Upon graduating, he received scholarships to continue academic interests and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease.

Dr. Tsang has extensive experience diagnosing, treating, and managing ocular disease and emergency conditions and continues to find passion in learning and educating his patients, students, and colleagues.

Dr. Tsang was awarded the distinction of Clinical Educator of the Year in his first year of teaching. He has held positions of clinical lecturer, assistant professor of optometry, as well as an admissions committee member at the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Tsang has presented in optometry conferences and has also published in peer-reviewed journals. He serves as an editorial reviewer for Canadian and American journals of optometry.

Dr. Tsang previously served as the director of ocular disease services at the Vision Institute of Canada and has been an optometry representative on the Eye Health Council of Ontario. He has previously held positions as director of the board and lead of education for the Ontario Association of Optometrists.

Currently, Dr. Tsang is in private practice in Vaughan. He has served as an adjunct clinical lecturer for the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, and is a clinical instructor of primary care, ocular disease, and emergency eye care at Foresee Eyecare. He currently serves on the Quality Assurance-Clinical Practice Committee of the College of Optometrists of Ontario and is also the staff optometrist at Mon Sheong Richmond Hill Long-Term Care Centre.

Clinical Instructor, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo Externship Preceptor, Illinois College of Optometry

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