Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, is relatively new in terms of dry eye treatment. It uses pulses of light energy to target fine blood vessels that makeup what we know as rosacea, specifically ocular rosacea.
And not only can IPL treatment in Kansas City provide Dry Eye relief by reducing inflammation, but it can also provide noticeable benefits for your skin! Read on below to learn more about this exciting treatment and how Brill Eye Center achieves lasting results for our patients.
How it Works:
- IPL treatments provide the best of both worlds for patients in Kansas City metro. Not only do the pulses of light energy produce noticeable results in dry eye treatment, but they also help with your skin!
- When we use an IPL treatment, our specialists target the pigments in the blood vessels making up your ocular rosacea. The reason the blood vessels are there is to respond to local inflammation on your eyelid and eyelid margins. Though a person can have facial rosacea without having ocular rosacea, 80% of those with facial rosacea suffer from both.
- During treatment, patients will undergo Fitzpatrick skin typing to determine the exact amount of energy needed for treatment. We then apply LASER protective stickers to your eyelids to protect any internal eye structures from exposure to xenon flashes.
- Intense Pulsed Light is visible noncoherent light and not a LASER. Usually, we apply 80-100 pulses of light to the skin during a session. The exact wavelength we often use is 590nm, but lighter-skinned patients will need more energy than those with darker skin.
What to Know Before Treatment
- To start, a dry eye technician and Dr. Brill will conduct a thorough dry eye workup to determine the most beneficial treatment for your symptoms. The dozen noninvasive tests and observations of Dr. Brill will determine the root cause of dry eye disease. If our team prescribes IPL treatment, we will ask you to arrive at the office makeup-free. That means no eyeliner, mascara, lotions, moisturizers, glitter, etc. You should also avoid the sun during and after your four treatment sessions.
- Along the way, while we treat the eyelid margins, we also achieve significant skin remodeling, photobiomodulation, and photorejuvenation of the dermis layer. Put simply, what this means is an improved facial appearance! Unwanted pigmentation spots fade away, and facial cheek redness diminishes over the 4 treatment sessions. And don’t worry, there’s no crusty or raw skin to deal with like harsh dermatologic chemical peels.
- The Lumenis M22 IPL is the state-of-the-art instrumentation that Brill Eye Center uses. Dr. Brill studied under Rolando Toyos, MD in Nashville, who invented the very specific protocol necessary for dry eye treatment over a decade of research.
- Each IPL treatment is not only painless, but there is zero downtime between each session. Older IPL systems had a characteristic “rubber band snap” of pain, but not the IPL we use. This is because we divide the energy level into three 50 microsecond pulses instead of one super strong 150 msec jolt. Patients can resume their lives as normal following treatment!
- We prepare the skin using a standard clear ultrasound gel to conduct the light energy more evenly. We’ll also apply a hairnet so that we do not target any hair removal from your sideburns or bangs.
- We also will take monitoring photographs to compare progress between sessions. There will be four IPL sessions in total.
- The primary purpose of IPL is to reduce the inflammatory mediators of the immune system that cause the redness called telangiectasia. These blood vessels are from inflammation and unnecessary for essential blood supply. After sessions three and four, we will place some glasses on you to comfortably heat your eyelids.
- Each post-IPL heating session will last 15-20 minutes to allow the hardened meibum in the meibomian glands to warm up. This allows the oil in the meibomian glands to eventually thin out, leading to better lubrication of the eyes. We will immediately manually express the glands with forceps designed for that purpose.
- The texture of the meibum can vary from hardened butter to toothpaste to a watery liquid. Taking a quality triglyceride-based omega-3 like EZ Tears will speed up the oil thinning process in the glands.
- When the oil is thin enough, and the upper eyelid fully contacts the lower eyelid, the muscles of Riolan squeeze out some oil. This oil covers the watery layer of the tears to prevent evaporation and more inflammation.
- As an alternative, we may perform LipiFlow thermal pulsation at the last treatment. This will automatically heat and express the glands simultaneously over the course of a 12-minute, spa-like treatment. This IPL protocol will need to be repeated every 6 months or sooner for maintenance and control of the dry eye and ocular rosacea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does IPL treatment hurt?
No. The Lumenis M22 Optima model of intense pulsed light is very comfortable. The only thing that actually touches your skin, which we will cover in cooling gel, is a chilled crystal light guide. There is no rubber band snap, like those associated with older IPL models.
Is the LASER light dangerous?
IPL is actually not a LASER. It’s actually a visible light from a xenon flash. And no, the xenon flash isn’t dangerous at all!
Why do so many people with facial rosacea have ocular rosacea as well?
Ocular rosacea is part of the same dermatologic entity. In fact, 20% of the time, ocular rosacea precedes facial rosacea.
Will I have to take any precautions after treatment?
We ask that you limit your sun exposure after treatment and wear a good sunblock while your skin remodels and rejuvenates.
What improvements will I notice with my eyes and skin?
The improvements are gradual over the treatment period of 6 to 8 weeks. We take photos to make comparisons over time.
How can Brill Eye Center treat my condition compared to other clinics?
We have the most up-to-date knowledge and treatment technologies to customize a protocol specifically for you.
Dry eye, also called ocular surface disease, is chronic and progressive. Left untreated, it only gets worse. Our many years of treating dry eye will be to your advantage. Meanwhile, other practices just use older modalities like punctal plugs, warm washcloths, baby shampoo, and expensive drops.
We get to the root cause of the problem and do not just perform palliative—feel better temporarily—methods that don’t work long term.
About Brill Eye Center
For over 38 years, Brill Eye Center has remained at the forefront of innovative eye care. Our wealth of experience, combined with advanced technology and personalized care, allows for a rewarding experience that produces lasting results for our patients. We pride ourselves on putting the “I care” back in eye care, and we won’t rest until you’ve achieved your ideal visual outcome.
If you’re ready to get lasting relief for your eye issues, schedule an appointment today and join the thousands of people across Missouri and Kansas who’ve regained their lives with our cutting-edge treatments. From Kansas City to Topeka, to Wichita and Manhattan, and everywhere in between, we’re here to serve you.