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How Long Does IPL Dry Eye Treatment Last?

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Are you tired of having irritated, dry eyes? Have you tried other dry eye treatments without any luck? Fortunately, some procedures can help relieve the symptoms associated with dry eye. 

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is a treatment for dry eye that your optometrist can perform. It uses light therapy to target the root causes of dry eye, leaving you more comfortable and with less severe symptoms. 

Don’t let dry eye get you down! Keep reading to learn more about IPL dry eye treatment and how it can improve your dry eye symptoms.

What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL) for dry eye utilizes pulses of light to release oil buildup in the meibomian glands in the eyelids. 

IPL process shown through steps

How does IPL Treat Dry Eye?

IPL treats dry eye by removing blockages in the meibomian glands. This is important because blocked meibomian glands can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is the leading cause of dry eye. MGD is the cause of nearly 80% of dry eye cases. 

When the meibomian gland becomes blocked, the glands don’t produce enough oil for the tears, which causes the eyes to dry out. IPL stimulates and restores healthy gland function and can offer long-term treatment of chronic dry eye disease.

MGD & Dry Eye

Dry eye disease occurs when there is a long-term lack of moisture in the eye. If you suffer from MGD, your tears cannot produce the quality of tears needed to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and seeing well. 

This leads to evaporative dry eye, which is the most common form of dry eye. When your meibomian glands are blocked, it results in a lack of the lipid or mucous layer in your tears. Without these layers, your tears evaporate too quickly, causing dry eye disease. 

Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye symptoms include: 

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your eye doctor to find relief today!

How is IPL Different? 

There are many treatment options available to treat dry eye. These include:

  • Artificial tears
  • Hot or cold compresses
  • Eyelid scrubs 

Unfortunately, these treatments focus on temporarily relieving symptoms instead of treating the root cause of the patient’s dry eye. 

IPL dry eye therapy targets the root cause of evaporative dry eye, leaving you with more minor symptoms for a longer amount of time.

Although results differ for everyone, studies have shown that 93% of patients are satisfied with the outcome of IPL dry eye treatment and what it has done for their dry eye symptoms. 

What to Expect During an IPL Treatment

The IPL Process

The typical IPL process is as follows:

  • First, your eye doctor will place protective shields over the eyes
  • Your doctor will spread a thin layer of cooling gel underneath the eyes
  • A small device is then used to deliver pulses of light to the area around the eyelids, which help release debris from the meibomian glands
  • After the IPL light treatment is complete, your eye doctor may manually express oil from the glands
Young women receiving IPL treatment near forehead area

How Long Does IPL Last?

One session of IPL takes about 10 – 15 minutes. You can expect to require at least 3 treatment sessions, but your eye doctor may recommend more depending on the severity of your dry eye disease. 

You should experience relief within a few minutes of your first session, and results can last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending on your eyes. 

Your optometrist will most likely recommend maintenance sessions throughout your life to maintain long-term results. 

Side Effects of IPL Treatment

Like any other treatment, there are potential side effects associated with IPL. The side effects are generally mild and temporary, but you should contact your optometrist if symptoms last longer than a week or are severe. 

You may experience the following side effects after receiving the IPL treatment.

The Takeaway 

Dry eyes may not be permanently curable, but the right treatment can offer long-term relief from dry eye symptoms. 

If you have tried dry eye therapies in the past, but nothing has seemed to work, it might be time to consider a more advanced treatment like IPL dry eye therapy.

Contact us today to see how we can help you get the dry eye relief you’ve been looking for!

Written by Dr. Ritesh Patel

Some people grow up wanting to be a famous athlete, an astronaut, or even the Prime Minister of Canada. Dr. Patel’s childhood ambition was to be an Optometrist. His dream leads him to live and practice all over the world, but his heart has always been in Toronto.

Dr. Patel was born in Toronto and grew up in the Markham area. After completing his Bachelor of Science in 2003 from the University of Waterloo, he went on to study at the prestigious New England College of Optometry in Boston, MA.

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