WHAT IS IPL?
Intense Pulse Light Therapy (IPL) is a new therapy to unplug the oil glands that line the upper and lower lid margins, relieving chronic dry eye sufferers dramatically. IPL works as a powerful warm compress to liquefy the toothpaste-like secretion plugging the meibomian glands and to improve their pumping mechanism when blinking. Relief is immediate and the frequency and intensity of flare-ups of blepharitis – an inflammation of the margins of the eyelids – is dramatically reduced. Most patients have significant improvement with one or two treatments. For the initial treatment we perform four treatments, each one month apart. The cost of $400 per treatment, then maintenance treatments are given every 3 – 12 months, at a cost of $400 per treatment.
IS THIS A LASER?
IPL is not a laser but is broad beam light therapy over a range of wavelengths. A filter is used to select the range of wavelengths that is best for this treatment to warm the skin and close down the abnormal blood vessels associated with rosacea and blepharitis that otherwise lead to inflammation in the eyelids. IPL has been used for a long time for hair removal, age spots, sun damage, acne, irregularities of blood vessels and mottled skin pigmentation improvement.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS LIKE?
Shields are used to cover the eye itself during the treatment and a thin layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area. A handpiece attached to the light system is used to deliver the light to the treatment area on the upper face and across the nose region. A pulse of light is administered, and there is a tingling sensation that most patients tolerate quite well. The area treated may be slightly flushed and red for a short time after the treatment.