WHAT IS IPL?
IPL (Intense Pulse Light) is an effective dry eye treatment which uses a flash lamp that pulsates a high intensity light at selected wavelengths on the treated skin area around the eyelids. It is a technology that has been used in dermatology for a few decades. In 2002, Dr Rolando Toyo discovered the benefit of IPL in treating dry eyes whilst treating his patients who suffers from rosacea. Subsequently, Toyo had developed the protocol of treating dry eyes with IPL.
IPL is effective in treating patients who suffer dry eyes from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
MGD is one of the main causes of dry eyes. It is caused by the blockage of the meibomian glands inside the eyelids. The function of meibomian glands is to produce a smooth layer of oil on the surface of your tears to prevent quick evaporation. However, with the oil glands being blocked, it results in unstable tears and quick evaporation, hence dry eyes. The problem with MGD is that it is not reversible. Once the glands become atrophic (death of the glands) there is no way for the oil glands to grow back and restore to its 100% function.
IPL is found to help stimulate the production of the oils in the meibomian glands, which will produce a much more stable tear film. This will ultimately result in an improvement of dry eye symptoms and prevent further atrophy of the meibomian glands.
HOW MANY SESSIONS OF IPL IS REQUIRED?
Generally, four sessions are usually required. Occasionally, a fifth session is required depending on the severity of your dry eyes.
For most effective treatment outcomes, we recommend the following treatment plan.
Day 1: First IPL treatment session
Day 15: Second IPL treatment session
Day 45: Third IPL treatment session
Day 75: Fourth IPL treatment session
Day 120: Dry Eye Review
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IPL?
According to recent scientific studies, 86% of patient reported that they noticed an improvement in their dry eye symptoms after the third session of IPL. Usually after the fourth treatment, you will get dry eye reliefs for a minimum of six months, up to 29 months. Although there are occasions where you may need to repeat treatments after 6-12 months depending on the severity of your MGD.
IS IPL SAFE?
Yes, IPL is very safe. The IPL technology we use is E-Eye by E-SWIN and it has TGA registration in Australia, it is also listed in the WAND in New Zealand and it has Medical CE certification in Europe. It has been followed by several clinical studies worldwide.
Our IPL uses the red wavelength of light between 580nm to 1200nm, which is perfectly safe for your skin. As mentioned above, IPL has been used in dermatology for several decades and usually the light intensity level used in a dermatology setting is double of what we use in dry eye treatments.
Furthermore, an eye shield will be used over your closed eye during the treatment. No flashes of light will directly be exposed to the eye.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR IPL?
Unfortunately, like all procedures, there are some contraindications. Below is a list of the most common contraindications.
- Very Dark Skin Phototype (Type IV: Very Dark/Black Skin)
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Disease that are stimulated by light (e.g. Lupus)
- Uses of Doxycycline
- Any supplements that promotes tanning
- Recent (10 days) of high intense UV exposure (e.g. sunbed or tanning)
- Recent (1 month) facial sunburn
- Keloid scarring on/beneath the eyelids
- Tattoo or Permanent make up on the area of treatment
- Birthmarks on the area of treatment
- Artificial tanning on the face
If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to talk to our optometrist.