Visique Eye Spy | Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment for Dry Eye

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment for Dry Eye

Dry Eyes can be a debilitating condition. Most common in older adults, dry eyes are caused by many factors, which in turn can limit lubrication of the eyes and lead to discomfort, light sensitivity and blurred vision.


While treatments like eye drops and tear conserving methods exist, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a revolutionary new treatment that can help sufferers of dry eye find substantial relief after just a few treatments. In this blog, we’ll explore what dry eye is, and how IPL, among other treatments can help you manage yours.



What is Dry Eye


Dry eye is a chronic condition that can limit quality of life and one’s ability to see clearly and free from discomfort. When we blink, the eyelid helps tears to spread across the cornea, or surface of the eye, lubricating our eyes, providing moisture, while wiping away debris to maintain the health and cleanliness of our eyes. Any excess tears flow into ducts in the inner corners of our eyes, draining back into the nose. It’s this cycle that maintains our eye health daily, but when an imbalance occurs, our eyes can really suffer.


Whether tear production is limited or tear quality is insufficient, a lack of adequate lubrication is known as ‘dry eye’, an issue that may be exacerbated by health conditions, environmental factors or exposure to irritants, long-term use of contact lenses, LASIK, or simply due to the aging process. Watery eyes can sometimes be due to dry eye as well, which may come as a surprise to many people.



Symptoms


Dry eyes can be as painful as they are frustrating. Sufferers of dry eye may experience one or more of the following dry eye symptoms:


  • Irritation
  • Burning
  • Discomfort
  • Excess watering
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Vision that clears with blinking
  • Crusting on eyelashes


In addition to impaired vision, these symptoms impact quality of life and our ability to live happily and confidently.


If you’re suffering from dry eye, or have a loved one experiencing symptoms, don’t panic. There are a range of potential treatments that can provide immediate and/or long term relief, and knowing what these are and where they are available is the first step to making an informed decision that will help you manage your dry eye with confidence.


If you haven’t had an eye examination recently, that would be the first step, allowing us to screen for dry eye signs. To get a better analysis of your eyes and to form a tailored management plan, we recommend also doing a Dry Eye Assessment. This is a separate appointment solely focused on assessing and discussing Dry Eye.



Treatments


The key treatments for dry eyes aim to maintain or restore tear production, and improve the components of your tear layer, all with the goal of restoring lubrication, minimising dryness and discomfort. It is important to know that being a chronic condition, successful treatment requires long term management. There is no magic eye drop that will fix everything overnight. For this, your optometrist may suggest one or more of the following treatment options:



Cause prevention


Limiting aggravating lifestyle factors that may contribute to dry eyes. These can include optimising health via nutritional supplementation of fatty acids including Omega 3’s, reducing exposure to dry air and smoke, reducing screen time , and staying hydrated .


Your optometrist may also recommend using sunglasses when outdoors, reading glasses to reduce eye strain if you have reading difficulties, particularly when working or spending time in front of screens for long periods.


If you have contact lenses, general hygiene and use will also be assessed to ensure you are changing your contact lenses at appropriate intervals, and following best practice guidelines on usage.



Eye drops


Eye drops for dry eyes can help to lubricate the eyes and reduce dryness, irritation and inflammation. Some drops have special ingredients to lock in the lubrication for longer.


These are a quick and easy go-to when experiencing acute symptoms of irritation and can provide fast and effective relief, improving the way your eyes feel and function.


If required, your optometrist can recommend the best eye drops for your needs.



Tear conservation


Conserving natural tears and limiting the rate of drainage is another way to treat dry eye, which can be the root cause of the problem.


Blocking tear ducts via small plugs can help to keep tears in the eyes for a longer duration, without the need for additional drops or tear solutions.



Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)


Then, there’s Intense Pulsed Light treatment. Intense pulsed light was originally devised as a treatment for skin conditions, but emerged as a potential solution for dry eye when people with the condition began noticing improvement in their eyes.


In a nutshell, IPL treatment applies pulsed light to the region around the eye to reduce inflammation. By targeting these regions, IPL can also improve the function of the glands in the eyelids which play a key role in maintaining the tear layer.


Safe and effective, many patients notice improvements after treatment . How long the improvements will last varies between different people, but is usually at least 6 months. When and if symptoms return, treatment can be repeated as necessary, as well as paired with supporting treatments like eye drops to dramatically improve your quality of life, eye health and happiness.


Wondering if IPL is right for you? Come to see us at Eye Spy. We can talk you through IPL dry eye treatment cost, concerns around the treatment process and side effects, and help you make the best decision for the long term health of your eyes. If you have tried many drops to no avail and are feeling frustrated, this may be the answer to your dry eye problems.


If you are suffering from dry eye syndrome or chronic dry eyes, we hope this blog has eased some of your concerns. While dry eye can be a frustrating condition, there are a number of eye care treatments that can alleviate the discomfort you’re experiencing and give you back the eye health you deserve.


We’ll see you at Eye Spy.

The Eye Spy Team