Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy
Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL)
Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL) therapy, also sometimes known as IPL, is a gentle and non-invasive procedure that uses specific wavelengths of light to treat dry eye. IPL therapy has been proven to improve tear film quality and it only takes a few minutes, sitting comfortably in a chair. It stimulates the parasympathetic nerve around the eyes to improve the flow of lipids (or oils) from the meibomian glands in your eyelids. The oils in your tears are an essential component that protects your tear film and reduces tear evaporation. If you suffer from dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction, IPL therapy may be a great option for you. At Stuart Macfarlane Optometrist, we use the TEARSTIM IRPL technology which is the Gold Standard in intense pulse light therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction.
Meibomian gland dysfunction
Healthy meibomian glands are important for producing the oily layer of your tear film, that sits on the outermost surface of your eye and prevents the tear film from evaporation. Meibomian glands can become dysfunctional, blocked, and inflamed for many reasons such as genetics, certain skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema, side effects from medication, or lifestyle factors such as excessive screen use. Abnormal meibomian gland function can lead to inflammation of the eyelids, a condition called blepharitis. Although quite common, blepharitis can impact your quality of life.
Evaporative Dry Eye
● Sore, gritty, and irritable eyes
● Excessive watering
● Red and uncomfortable eyes, especially at the end of the day
● Constantly blinking
● Blocked oil glands around the lids known as styes (or internal hordeolum/chalazions)
● Blurred vision
● Discomfort with contact lens wear
How does IPL work?
IPL uses calibrated light energy of 14kJ/square metre, which is a lot less intense than common IPL procedures used in laser hair removal and dermatology clinics. These regulated light pulses stimulate the parasympathetic nerves that innervate the meibomian glands. This helps restore healthy function of the meibomian glands, improving lipid secretions and tear film stability.
What is involved in IPL?
Whilst seated in a comfortable chair, make-up is removed and a protective mask is placed over your eyelids with a cool aqueous based gel placed on the skin beneath the lids. Five light pulses are then applied to the area beneath your eyes on each side of your face. Each pulse only lasts 200 milliseconds and is pain free, with some people describing a quick, warm sensation from each light pulse. The gel is then removed, and the procedure is complete. Four sessions over three months are recommended for a complete treatment course, but your optometrist may recommend touch up sessions within the next 12 months for better and prolonged results. Each consultation takes no longer than 20 minutes, but we may allocate more time for preparation.
The optometrist will discuss this as a treatment option for certain types of dry eye with an evaporative component.
$800 for a full treatment course of 4 sessions with Afterpay available.
Treatment intervals by days: 1, 15, 45, 75