IPL treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is an exciting new treatment at Innovative Eye Care used to treat dry eye syndrome due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD, aka Posterior Blepharitis), a condition that is notoriously difficult to manage. It generates an intense pulsed light by producing perfectly calibrated, homogeneously sequenced light pulses directed at the skin around the lower eyelid. The energy, spectrum and time period are precisely set to stimulate the meibomian glands for them to return their normal function.

Innovative Eye Care are the first eye specialists to have access to an IPL for MGD treatment in South Australia.

Why IPL?

IPL treatment is used to improve the meibomian gland function in our eyelids. For more information about Meibomian Gland Dysfunction click here.

The treatment was recently featured on A Current Affair - view the clip below:

What is Involved in the Treatment?

An initial consultation is required before IPL treatment to confirm your have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, to check for other ocular disease, and to gather baseline data about how your eyes are functioning. Some patients may be unsuitable for IPL treatment due to general health conditions or medications.

Four IPL treatments are recommended to best manage your MGD. These are performed at day one, day 15, day 45 and day 75.

Each session takes only a few minutes. Your optometrist will apply protective goggles over your eyes and hydrogel on the skin below the eye. A series of flashes are applied under the lower eyelid. The IPL device generates a painless polychromatic pulsed light, so no needles or injections are required.

What Can I Expect?

The IPL stimulation leads to the meibomian glands returning to improved function in a very short time (a of couple hours) following the treatment. The effect is cumulative, so the improvement will last for about two weeks after the first treatment, four weeks after the second one, then from a couple of months onward. Marked improvement in symptoms and reduced need for eye drops is generally noticed after two treatments. A repeat treatment course may be required at a later time if your symptoms return despite ongoing management with other MGD treatments.

How Does IPL Treatment Work?

While the mechanism for how IPL treats MGD is not yet fully understood, it is thought to be related to a decreased release of inflammatory mediators from neaby blood-vessels, and decreased overgrowth of bacteria around the lid area. The first prospective placebo controlled study into IPL for MGD was recently conducted, with results showing improvements in tear film stability and eye comfort following the treatment (Jennifer Craig, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland.)

This study showed significant improvement in the average time it takes for your tears to dry out - or non-invasive break-up time (NIBUT) - following the second and then third treatments (see figure below).

Improvement in tear break up time following second (day 15) and third (day 45) visits

Please contact our practice for more information about IPL or to enquire about seeing one of our optometrists.