What Happens During Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment?

What Happens During Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment?

What Happens During Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment?

What Happens During Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment?

Do your tears dry up too fast and leave your eyes feeling dry? If so, intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment can help you. IPL is a new type of light therapy that treats evaporative dry eyes. Evaporative dry eye is the most common type of dry eye. It occurs when your eyes’ oil glands (meibomian glands) swell and cannot produce quality tears that adequately cover your eyes.

Tears vaporize faster than usual without the oil, resulting in dry eyes. IPL works for evaporative dry eye because it has suitable tools to manage evaporative dry eye symptoms. IPL's light energy warms the meibomian glands and reduces swelling, easing oil flow into the eyes.


What Happens During IPL Treatment?

IPL therapy is an outpatient procedure that your eye doctor can perform in their office. The doctor will administer the treatment using a handheld tool with a filter. Here is what you can expect during the treatment, although some aspects may differ based on how your eye doctor performs the treatment.


  • Before the procedure, your eye doctor will place protective covers over your eyelids to shield them from the IPL device's bright light. The doctor will also apply a layer of soothing gel on the sensitive skin around your eyes to protect that part. The treatment uses radiant light that can hurt eyes without enough protection.

  • With the eye shields and cooling gel in place, the doctor will apply the IPL. The doctor will hold the IPL tool over your eyelids and use the light energy to liquefy the clogging in the oil glands.

  • When your oil glands open, the doctor may remove some oil to stir up the natural oil flow.

Consults with your eye doctor any questions about how they administer the treatment.


How Long Does the Treatment Session Last?

Your session may last 10 to 15 minutes. You may require three to four treatment sessions on average, but your eye doctor may prescribe more based on the severity of your dry eye.


Is IPL Treatment for Dry Eyes Effective?

When swollen meibomian glands are the source of your dry eyes, studies show that IPL treatment can provide relief. You may experience relief a few minutes after your first treatment session. The results from your sessions can last six to nine months. Although short-term, IPL results last longer than warm compresses, artificial tears, or eyelid scrubs.

Your eye doctor will probably recommend maintenance sessions every six or nine months to maintain lasting results. The timeframe may vary depending on the disease’s progress.


What to Expect After IPL Treatment

You can resume your normal activities immediately after your treatment. Your doctor may recommend using artificial tears between your IPL sessions. They will give you more details about their treatment plan for your specific situation.


Is IPL Treatment Right for You?

Your eye doctor may recommend IPL treatment if your dry eye symptoms make it hard for you to go about your daily activities. The procedure treats the underlying cause of dry eye to guarantee longer-lasting relief from your eye discomfort. When performing IPL treatment, your eye doctor will offer eye protection to keep the lights from harming your vision.

For more on intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, visit Dry Eye Center of Alabama and Family Eye Care at our office in Homewood, Alabama. Call (205) 490-2322 to book an appointment today.

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