IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. This is a treatment that uses intense light at multiple specific wavelengths to remove damaged blood vessels in the skin. These damaged vessels cause inflammation that contributes to eyelid problems such as dry eye and blepharitis. If you are constantly bothered by dry and itchy eyes, IPL treatment for dry eye may be just the right choice for you.
Inflammation can be both a cause and an effect of dry eyes. To effectively treat your dry eyes, you need to reduce or even eliminate the source of inflammation. One of these sources is aging and damaged blood vessels in the skin around the eyes. With IPL treatment, these vessels are selectively coagulated without damaging the surrounding skin. Then the body’s own mechanisms remove the damaged vessels over time. The resulting reduction in inflammation can work wonders for your dry eyes.
IPL penetrates into the lower layer of skin where the small blood vessels are. Unlike laser treatment which treats with only one wavelength of light, IPL sends out multiple wavelengths. Thus, IPL is able to treat a larger variety of conditions than simple laser therapy. The light from IPL treatment is selectively absorbed by the small blood vessels in the lower area of the skin and inflamed, damaged blood in the aged ones coagulates as the vessel heats up. The body then sees the non-functioning, coagulated blood vessel as something to clean up and dutifully removes them and the inflammatory parts of them as well. As such, IPL works by reducing and removing sources of inflammation in the lower skin.
By reducing inflammation around the eyes, IPL allows dry eyes to recover and return toward normal functioning. And, because you have removed the source of inflammation with IPL therapy, you will maintain your improvement.
During IPL treatment a coupling gel will be applied to the treatment area and eyes will be covered with protective goggles. Each session lasts about 15 minutes. During treatment, you will feel warmth in the treated area but no real discomfort or pain. You will likely also see flashes of light as the light pulses are applied. There will be some redness on your face right after the procedure which will resolve within few hours. Normal activities can be resumed right after treatment and makeup can be applied also.
Dr. Punja will let you know how many treatments you will need for optimal benefits. This can range from one or two treatments to as many as four sessions at intervals of three to four weeks depending on the severity of your problem.
Although the treatment removes damaged and inflamed blood vessels, the root causes of the problem may cause other vessels to become inflamed. If this is the case, Dr. Punja may recommend repeating your treatments every six to twelve months.
IPL therapy not only helps dry eyes but also problems like blepharitis and recurring styes. And, with any of these problems, IPL is an excellent part of the treatment process. Dr. Punja will explain how IPL for dry eye and other eye and eyelid conditions can help you.