By addressing the telangiectactic vessels that feed the meibomian glands, IPL may provide these glands with an opportunity to return to homeostasis. This may not always be accomplished in atrophied glands, and often a series of treatments is needed to provide relief.
The multifactorial nature of dry eye disease makes a single treatment or diagnostic test nearly impossible. ODs must manage this condition with multiple resources, utilizing non-invasive and practical treatments.
Patients who have symptoms of dry eye disease and have signs of meibomian gland dysfunction, telangiectactic vessels around the lid, or have failed on other therapies may benefit from the use of this novel treatment idea. When patients are preparing for surgery that will impact their vision, whether it is refractive or cataract refractive surgery, the YAG laser may be enough to balance the tear film for a more stable recovery.
Related: New correction option for presbyopes
The future of IPL treatment
As the population seems to have peaked with the baby boomers, ODs are seeing an increase in the percentage of millennials with this condition. We must find ways to prevent these conditions from exacerbating.
As we see this bridge between aesthetic services and ophthalmic treatments, IPL seems poised to provide that opportunity. When I am treating patients, my goal is to provide treatments that go beyond a single treatment paradigm. Light may target pigment in the exoskeleton of Demodex, reducing its number and the possible negative effects related to rosacea.3
Our role as ODs creates a profound opportunity for us to participate in treatments that can add benefit to our patients. IPL is one such non-invasive opportunity to add an aesthetic and practical resolution of eye-related problems—more importantly, my wife is happy.
1. Toyos R, McGill W, Briscoe D. Intense pulsed light treatment for dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction: a 3-year retrospective study. Photomed Laser Surg. 2015 Jan 1;33(1):41-46.
2. Viso E, Clemente Millán A, Rodríguez-Ares MT. Rosacea-associated meibomian gland dysfunction—an epidemiological perspective. European Ophthalmic Review. 2014;8(1):13-16.
3. Prieto VG, Sadick NS, Lloreta J, Nicholson J, Shea CR. Effects of intense pulsed light on sun-damaged human skin, routine, and ultrastructural analysis. Lasers Surg Med. 2002;30(2):82-85.